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Things Continue to Heat up at The Miami Open

Things are quickly heating up down at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

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With the Miami Open well underway, things are quickly heating up down at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.  The Miami Open has been a staple since 1987, seating 13,800 to watch some of the best tennis players of all time.  The tournament operates on a best two out of three set basis for both the men and the women.  Last year, Novak Djokovic (No. 1) clinched the men’s side of the bracket, while American favorite Serena Williams (No. 1) took the women’s in both 2013 and 2014.  This has us begging the question—who will come out on top in 2015?

Early on in the tournament, there have been some tremendous upsets.  Rafael Nadal (No. 3) has been struggling to find momentum throughout the course of the year, as he did not partake in the 2014 US Open due to a wrist injury.  Nadal was defeated by fellow Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco (No. 34), in the third round of the Miami Open.  Nadal insists that his failure to preform is not due to physical injury or incapability, but rather his mental inability to ease his nerves when finishing his shots.  On the other hand, in a shocking upset, Maria Sharapova (No. 2) lost in the second round against Daria Gavrilova, a Russian-Australian tennis player.  Without any sign of injury, it can simply be said that Sharapova grew frustrated and did not play to her full, optimal potential.  Her opponent Gavrilova explained that she had been dreaming of defeating Sharapova since she was a young girl, around the age of 12 years old.  These two instances with Nadal and Sharapova truly show how mental toughness can make or break performance on any given day.

A few players looked exceptionally strong on the court this week.  On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic is looking to hold onto his title as he is going into the fourth round of the tournament.  Djokovic is to play Ukranian Alexandr Dolgopolov today, May 31.  Also playing today is Andy Murray (No. 3), who will take on Kevin Anderson of South Africa.  Murray is looking to attain his 500th singles win during this match, which will give him immense drive to succeed in his match this afternoon.  John Isner (No. 22), the only American hopeful left in the men’s side of the tournament, is to play this evening against the skilled Milos Raonic (No. 5).  Isner has looked calm, cool, and collected throughout the tournament which should help to give him an increased amount of confidence going into this match.

On the women’s side of the draw, the Williams sisters have been playing with great vigor, as well.  Venus Williams (No. 16) had an impressive win against the young and talented Caroline Wozniaki (No. 4).  With this win, the Williams sisters will comprise a quarter of the top eight of the women left in the tournament.  Another American hopeful, Sloane Stephens, is the only unseeded woman remaining in the tournament.  With this impressive feat, Stephens will undertake a challenging match against Simona Halep (No. 3), which will be a difficult yet exciting matchup for her.

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Stay tuned to the Miami Open through Sunday, April 5th.  The tournament will give us good indications as to who is looking good as we approach the French Open, commencing in mid-May.  But for now, things are continuing to get hot, and we can only anticipate who will come out on top.

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