MIAMI, Fla. – The 10-day format must make it feel like forever until the 32 seeded players finally swing into action in Miami.
But Saturday is the day for top seed Daniil Medvedev and No. 7 seed Félix Auger-Aliassime.
The two Monte Carlo residents made some final preparations Friday on a practice court at Hard Rock Stadium.
(Notably, we should mention that we actually spotted Medvedev moving IN for second-serve returns and almost … dare we mention it, head towards SABR territory!!!!)
Here’s what it looked like.
Medvedev gets Murray, Auger-Aliassime draws Kecmanovic
Neither has a cakewalk in their first matches, which are second-round matches.
Medvedev draws former No. 1 Andy Murray, whom he’s played only once – more than three years ago, in Brisbane.
Auger-Aliassime plays former junior rival Miomir Kecmanovic, who is almost exactly a year older and whom he routed in the 2016 US Open boys’ singles final.
They’ve played a couple of times in the pros.
Auger-Aliassime beat him in the semifinals of the Lyon Challenger on clay, which the Canadian won in 2018. Auger-Aliassime was 17 and ranked No. 170; Kecmanovic was 18 and stood at No. 205.
In the first round of the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati in 2019, Kecmanovic was the one who prevailed.
Auger-Aliassime was ranked No. 21, while Kecmanovic was outside the top 100 and came through the qualifying.
Both are completely different players now, obviously.
Kecmanovic, 22, is 14-6 on the year and played the South American clay-court circuit. He sandwiched that with a round-of-16 effort at the Australian Open, and a quarter-final finish last week at Indian Wells.