Miami R4 previews and predictions: Djokovic vs. Thiem, Berdych vs. Gasquet

Only in a few sections of the Miami draw have the top seeds taken care of business, but that is the case in Novak Djokovic’s quarter. Djokovic is facing Dominic Thiem during fourth-round action on Tuesday, while Tomas Berdych battles Richard Gasquet.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (14) Dominic Thiem

Based on the mass exodus of marquee names out of the Miami Open and the current state of the draw, Djokovic vs. Thiem would arguably be worthy of the title match. Instead, two of the hottest players in the sport will have to go head-to-head in the last 16 on Tuesday. That Djokovic leads the ATP Tour in match victories this season is no surprise; but the fact that Thiem is right there tied with the world No. 1 is a borderline shock. Djokovic is a dominant 24-1, while the 22-year-old Austrian comes in with a 24-5 record.

A grueling February saw Thiem capture titles in Buenos Aires and Acapulco in addition to a semifinal performance in Rio de Janeiro. The world No. 14, who proceeded to win three Davis Cup rubbers (one in doubles), finally ran out of gas against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Indian Wells fourth round. He is back in business this fortnight with routine defeats of Sam Groth and Yoshihito Nishioka. Djokovic has cruised into the fourth round by beating Kyle Edmund and Joao Sousa. The top-seeded Serb is looking to lift a third consecutive winner’s trophy in Miami. As well as Thiem is playing, this is a kind of test that he has not yet seen in his career–and it’s one that may be too tough.

Pick: Djokovic in 2

(10) Richard Gasquet vs. (7) Tomas Berdych

Berdych and Gasquet will be squaring off for the 14th time in their careers on Tuesday. Gasquet is leading the head-to-head series 7-6, including 5-4 on outdoor hard courts. The two veterans most recently collided in round four of last summer’s U.S. Open, with the Frenchman getting the job done 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. They also met in the quarterfinals of this same event in 2013, when Gasquet prevailed 6-3, 6-3.
Gasquet and Grosjean
Current form favors Gasquet, who is 10-2 with a title in Montpellier since missing all of January because of a back problem. The world No. 10 has advanced in Miami with straight-set victories over Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Benoit Paire. Berdych won seven matches in his first two tournaments of the year but has not won more than two at any event since. The seventh-ranked Czech needed only one victory to reach this stage in Miami, as he got a walkover from Rajeev Ram before holding off Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3. Unless Berdych manages to dictate play to an extent that he avoids a large number of back-to-backhand rallies, Gasquet’s momentum should continue.

Pick: Gasquet in 3

8 Comments on Miami R4 previews and predictions: Djokovic vs. Thiem, Berdych vs. Gasquet

  1. 6 winners 34 UE from NOle….. 15 winners 40 UE

    Lotssss of UE from both but that’s how the match was played out…forcing an error from the opponent

  2. Thiem is making strides, but there is more work to be done.

    Novak knows how to pull out a win when he’s not at his best. I think it’s easier to try and get him earlier in the tournament, because when he gets to the latter stages he’s very tough to beat.

    Thiem has shown that he’s got the game and just needs to finish off some rough edges.

  3. Man Thiem had so many BPs. Good match but wow he had lots of missed opportunities. Sad to see him lose that last game after all that work. Nole moves on of course.

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