Miami QF previews and predictions: Federer vs. Berdych, Kyrgios vs. Zverev

Roger Federer will continue his Miami campaign and try to maintain his hot streak when he faces Tomas Berdych during quarterfinal action on Thursday. Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev are also one step away from the semis.

(4) Roger Federer vs. (10) Tomas Berdych

Federer and Berdych will be squaring off for the 24th time in their careers when they battle for a place in the Miami Open semifinals on Thursday. The head-to-head series stands at 17-6 in favor of Federer, who has won six in a row at Berdych’s expense since losing two straight to the Czech in 2012 (U.S. Open) and 2013 (Dubai). The 35-year-old Swiss has also taken 14 sets in succession against Berdych while needing a tiebreaker in only one of those 14. They most recently collided at the Australian Open two months ago, when Federer cruised through a third-round affair 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Based on how well Federer is playing right now, there is no reason to think the tide will suddenly turn. The 18-time Grand Slam champion triumphed Down Under and also captured the Indian Wells title. He is an amazing 16-1 this season following straight-set victories in Miami over Frances Tiafoe, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Roberto Bautista Agut. Berdych, on the other hand, needed a strong result this fortnight in the worst way. The 31-year-old had been just 10-5 in 2017 with no final appearances and he has plunged to No. 14 in the world. He arguably hit a low point in Indian Wells, where he squandered a 6-1, 6-2 advantage against Yoshihito Nishioka in the third round and lost in three sets. So far in Miami, however, Berdych has advanced with straight-set defeats of Andrey Rublev, Gilles Muller, and Adrian Mannarino. A steep step up in competition should prove to be the 10th seed’s ouster.

Pick: Federer in 2 with no tiebreakers

(16) Alexander Zverev vs. (12) Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios and Zverev will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers and for the second time in as many tournaments when they meet again on Thursday. The two friends and occasional doubles partners just faced each other in Indian Wells, where Kyrgios cruised through a a third-round showdown 6-3, 6-4. The 16th-ranked Australian still has not lost since then, as his Indian Wells exit came via a quarterfinal walkover that he gave Federer because of illness. Kyrgios is 13-3 this season and 6-0 in his last six matches following Miami wins over Damir Dzumhur (6-4, 6-3), Ivo Karlovic (in a third-set tiebreaker), and David Goffin (7-6(5), 6-3).

Two years Kyrgios’ junior at 19, Zverev is not far behind at No. 20 in the rankings. The German has already captured one title in 2017 on the indoor hard courts of Montpellier and following a relative three-tournament slump he is back on track this fortnight with victories at the expense of Yen-Hsun Lu, John Isner, and No. 1 seed Stan Wawrinka. Zverev saved three match points to outlast Isner 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-6(5) and returned to the court one day later for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 upset of Wawrinka. This will undoubtedly be more competitive than what transpired in the California desert, but Kyrgios’ serve and baseline ball-striking at the moment are such that it is almost impossible to bet against him with anyone other than Federer on the other side of the net.

Pick: Kyrgios in 3

99 Comments on Miami QF previews and predictions: Federer vs. Berdych, Kyrgios vs. Zverev

  1. No I wouldn’t call it a choke. Let’s show respect to Berdych. Yes that forehand at 6-5 was makable but wasn’t like a cake forehand. He was falling back and the return was a decent one. He should have made it though. Then Fed served really well but that DF was BAD. I think he stopped believing after losing the Match points.

    • It is so hard to believe that you can actually beat the top guys, especially when you’ve lost so many times in a row. But Tomas must have played a hell of a match from the second set.

    • When it mattered he tighten up! An ace would have won him the match in the TB when he was 6-4 up. If it’s Fed he would not miss it; when it mattered the most, Berdych would! This is choking regardless of how well he played the whole match.

  2. Again couldn’t execute in the big moments when it was on his racquet but played lights out otherwise.

    Double faulted on his second MP ?

  3. Berdych is a big big choker! He had it on his racket when he was 6-4 up in the TB, but he had to miss an ace and then hit Fed’s second serve return into the net! He just couldn’t serve a good ace to finish the job, when in the previous game he served so well to hold!

    What a big joker and choker!! Fed was gifting him with all those DFs and poor serves for him to level the match, and he had to lose the TB by a DF! Really hopeless when it mattered after playing so well! What’s the point?

  4. Fed was so overconfident, and than when he let Berdych in the match he was not that eager to grind it out. There is no worries about Fed level dropping, he is just not fresh anymore.

    • Yeah but he’s still the only player who could be undefeated on hard courts in 2017 having already lost a match on hard court.

      Fedfawn revisionism is hilarious!

      Damn. Where’s Asif when you need him.

      This is comedy gold!

  5. Wow… Crazy. Welp, both our predictions are still hangin on! 🙂 How you feelin currently about your pick? Still confident?

    • I’m probably more confident than you are with your pick ?.

      Between the two, my pick is still playing significantly better with more confidence.

      • It might surprise you to know that I am more confident in Rafa at this point. Rafa has no reason to not make the final. Fed will probably be pretty tired tomorrow and will be at risk of losing to Kyrgios/Zverev, and if Fed wins that one, he’ll be even that much more tired. I think that a Fed/Rafa final here in Miami could go either way now that Fed is more tired and less on point. So I’m actually more confident in Rafa at the moment. Are you more confident in Fed beating the young gun than in Rafa beating Fognini?

        • Fed has a day off and that will help a lot so I’d write any tiredness off after today.

          He’ll get the evening match on Saturday so heat won’t be an issue.

          Sascha won’t take much out of Fed. Fed would win on two losing less that eight.

          Kyrgios won’t take much out of him either but he could actually win.

          So I don’t see Fed being tired on Sunday.

          Rafa will have to up his current level to win.

          But it would be on Rafa’s racquet for what that’s worth. Not enough these days.

          • Huh, that’s weird. When I looked at the Miami website last night, it said that both men’s semis were tomorrow… I’m not sure which would be better, having a day off before his semifinal match, or having the day off before the final. After today’s match, he might want the day off tomorrow. But I feel like anyone would want a day off before the final. Well, there’s another reason I think Rafa can take this title- he’ll be better rested than the other guy!

    • Fed could definitely lose the semi. This match looked like it was really long but it was not even 2 hrs!! 1 hr 57 mins

    • Journalists won’t whine as much about Berdych because he’s a thirty-something year old veteran who has lost when having match points before… It was such a big deal with Zverev because he was just a kid and almost beat one of the big 4. Berdych choking against an all-time great is not big news. 18 year old Sascha Zverev being one point away from beating an all-time great is big news. Shouldn’t surprise you, really.

  6. It’s time again for….

    Fed?

    Or PseudoFed.

    RT @vgibertini: Fed:”On the last point i thought ‘wow, df, really Tomas? You are too nice, I don’t deserve this”#MiamiOpen

    He was taking a chapter out of Toni’s coaching book.

    #BeingPolite

      • You’re absolutely nuts, Augusta… Did a Federer fan send you a meme of Rafa snapping at ball kids? Did a Federer fan break your heart at some point? I just can’t wrap my head around how someone could hate a person so much who has done nothing to you… All those pesky Fedfans who you claim to be so awful- do you realize that you are 100% exactly the same as them??

        I’m sorry, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore… Aside from saying good things about Rafa, you strictly troll Federer and his fans! Nothing else! I’ve seen you go to the Roger Federer page, just to talk shit about him! It just boggles my mind. If you’re going to hate someone, at least hate someone who has done more than break a couple racquets and yell a couple times. You don’t have to like him, but why do you have to devote so much of your time on here just trolling and hating? Why do you think there aren’t more Federer fans who comment on here? It’s because they see endlessly trolling their favorite player, and they think they’re not welcome!

        You, and the Federer fan versions of you, don’t seem to realize that your respective heroes would be sickened by your endless trolling of another player…. That’s all.

        • Well put Kevin. Hard to ignore.

          But from personal experience, be careful. It’s like a potato chip. Hard to eat just one.

          BTW, that’s her goal. She doesn’t WANT fans of other players here.

          Don’t give her that wish. This site has lost too many good fans like yourself because of the childish comments and nothing original to say about tennis. Ever.

          Rock on Kev.

          Keep calm and Vamos Fed.

          • Vamos Fed AND Rafa! I’m sick of this either/or shit haha. They’re both incredible tennis players, role models, humanitarians, and all-around humans beings. Just give respect where it’s due. That’s all I’m saying. Thanks though, Hawks. 🙂

            • Kevin,

              All I can say is Bravo to your post at 1:15am! It needed to be said by someone who is new to this site and not caught up in the back and forth. It’s true that we have lost fans if other players just because of this kind of mean-spirited behavior.

              I just hope you stay here and keep in posting! We need fans of Fed, Novak, Murray and many others. That is what makes for great discussions.

              I think you are spot on in pointing out the petty attacks on Fed. We should be able to celebrate these two tennis greats. I have no doubt that Rafa would be appalled to read some of the churlish things said about Fed. He has great respect for Fed. Always has. Rafa is a class act. We should follow his example!

          • The poster AT 1:37 AM shouldn worry, he is capable of filling all the bandwagons alone, especially when trolling Rafa & and his team (with his “original thoughts”).

        • @kevin, spot on!

          It’s a pity that a behaviour of few here have always discouraged fans of other players.

          It is really nice to some new fed fans posting here. You, Joe smith some others. I really like reading thoughts from you and Joe as you are fed fans and perspective differ more so that’s great.

          I have always failed to understand Augusta08’s hatred for Federer and Djokovic. On the contrary Rafa has so much respect for both of them and she has this most RIDICULOUS justification that rafa is only being polite !! what the…. LOL

          I urge the fed fans to keep posting 🙂 You must all feel welcome.

            • Lol. no, there is nothing for you to understand so you’re not failing at it. What you are failing at is being repetitive and you can’t help it.

              As far are original thoughts are concerned, I try to post them on tennis and not posters.

            • AT 3:39 PM,

              Difference being is those are your ONLY “original thoughts” here. 100% vs <1% for VR.

              #FalseEquivalenciesAreEverywhere

  7. HOW the F*** does Kyrgios keep hitting those between the leg shots?? they are clean winners!! he is a super talented shot maker.

    • Youthful exhuberance.

      Sad that if he reaches the top, he will lose this from his game the same way Nole lost his playful nature on and off the court and earned him his djoker nick.

      Enjoy it while it lasts.

  8. Dear Hawkeye, I am massively busy these days to launch my GAME in two weeks, hopefully. I couldn’t visit this website on regular basis, but it seems you are taking my comment about Federer remaining undefeated on remaining hard court matches he plays in its literal meaning. Dear When I mentioned Federer remaining undefeated, it didn’t mean that he would win every single match. It was a general gesture that he would dominate the hard court events. Just like when I thought in 2010 that Rafa would dominate the entire clay events. I did not think you would take it in its literal meaning. What I personally think Federer would win Cincinnati, Shanghai, US Open and WTF –if not all hard court events–. But if wins all the mentioned events, it would be nothing less than a complete domination on hard court….Although I think Federer could also grab slow Miami this year.

    By the way, I like your funny commentary.

    • Aww Asif. You make My head get too fat.

      So when you asked if Fed could possibly go undefeated in 2017 on hard court, you hadn’t forgotten he’d already lost but instead you were “only joking.”

      Apparently you have that in common with Rafa! ?

      • You can not be serious..Lol…It was logical I was mentioning the domination on remaining hard court tournaments Feder would enter. But, your Hawk eye included the previous defeat that has nothing to do with remaining hard court events I meant to say.

  9. Kyrgios with net +9 aces (9A-0DF); Zverev with net -3 (1A -4 DF). That’s half a set worth of games right there. Hard to overcome for Sascha.

  10. Damn. Zverev fends off a bunch of MPs to take the second set. Didn’t see that coming. If the kid can improve his serve he is going to be a monster.

    • I really enjoying watching these two young guys go at it. Good stuff! I am particularly impressed with Zverev’s mental toughness and how he hung in there in the second set to ultimately prevail.

      Oh and btw, when Kyrgios was called for that time violation, he blurted to the umpire – you should give one to Rafa! It was a bad call, but I don’ t like Kyrgios bringing Rafa into it. Rafa has had more than his share of bad TV calls.

      • Yes, poor form to bring Rafa into it. But I think tennis needs a shot clock (not sure what it should be with the modern game). It would really improve things, imo, in the same way that Hawkeye (!)improved the game.

      • He had a point.

        But Murray and Djoko are more guilty than Rafa these days.

        Rafa has actually improved significantly in this regard.

        As Cahill just said after Sascha’s bathroom break, tennis has the most inconsistent rules in sport.

        • No Kyrgios didn’t have a point. Rafa is not the issue here and certainly is not the worst offender. The point is that Rafa gets called for it. And what’s more, Nik knows it!

  11. Unbelievable TB! Such a treat to watch these two play!

    Guess, this is a punishment to Nick for dragging Rafa into his time violation argument…will he ever learn first to respect other players…

  12. Hawkeye, by the way did you see that today Nadal missed to championship points at 6-4 in Federer vs Berdych match. Can you decode what I mean? Or do you think I am being illogical here considering there was no Rafa today in that match; I mean I am afraid you would take this thing again in its literal meaning.

    • Correction: Hawkeye, by the way did you see that today Nadal missed TWO championship points at 6-4 in TIEBREAK in Federer vs Berdych match.

    • Methinks thou doth protest too much.

      No, really, Asif, it’s ok. I believe you. Others mightn’t but I do. I really really do.

      ?

  13. Don’t know if one of them still have the energy to spar with Rog in semis…and i mean not only physically but mentally as well..This match sure drained them…

    • MA,

      But they have youth on their side. I remember some thinking that Zverev might not be able to take on Stan after that tough three setter with Isner.

      I mean, they could hit a wall after this match. These young guys don’t have the fitness of the big four.

      • Nny….Hehehe..Yeah,u could be right ma’am…but Stan is not Rog and Rog is no Stan…Honestly,i think Rog will go to the final once again..as impressive as Nick is atm..Rog has the advantage this time…and if i’m wrong,i will treat u to a virtual dinner for a month Nny!Wooohoo!!How’s that?

        • MA,

          Oh you don’t have to treat me to dinner! It’s just between friends!

          I think it should be a good match with Fed and Kyrgios. Fed has the experience and the confidence of playing well. Nik has the explosive game, great serve and attitude!

          • Nny…Virtual dinner of my version is a pictures of Pizza,or Seafood[lobster,shrimp,fish etc etc],or spagetti..hahahaha…it’s no trouble ma’am!

            Yeah,it should be a good match but i still don’t have a good feeling regarding Nick..he seems have a knee issue and he maybe fatigue…but,let’s see how’s thing goes when the time come k?

  14. I saw Nick mouth to his coach at the changeover that something hurt. It looked like he might be saying “hip”, but who knows…

  15. Like Sanju said above, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick were to withdraw once again from a Fed match… He is definitely clutching at his knee and saying repeatedly that something hurts. It’s actually pretty crazy that he was able to come through this match. If he can just keep up the consistency and try to work on his fitness, he will be so much better off!

    • Yeah they were debating during the match who of the two to pick for having the better future.

      Gilbert picked Kyrgios for bigger potential despite the risk.

      But with two years younger, I think Sascha has both greater potential AND lower risk.

      Nick to me doesn’t have the ideal body shape to avoid injury and could also walk away from the game prematurely.

      But I’m a bigger fan of Kyrgios despite liking them both.

      They might give us reason to watch after the big four are gone. Need a few more young guys to show up.

      We’ve been spoiled for a long time.

  16. Its pretty clear what happened. Kyrgios knows it was the wrong call for him to challenge, and feels bad he won it like that. His anger obviously directed towards the limesman, for not calling it, thus the situation would not appear. He wanted to win this fair and square. Typical Nick. Hope he gets over it.

  17. I was hoping nick would win because he will give #GOAT2.0 a better match.

    Hope his knee is ok.

    Just don’t let Rog buy you any of those funky fruit smoothies before the match.

    I was right that this second meeting would be better than the last. It had everything and was THE popcorn match of Miami. Two rising stars.

    Oh how COULD I forget…. CONGRATS TO MEEEEE!

    #HawkstradamusRising

    • I truly hope that Kyrgios doesn’t withdraw because of the knee. That would be a real disappointment. Back-to-back tournaments? I sure hope not!

      I heard the discussion on ESPN during the Kyrgios/Zverev match as to who to take for the better career. I would take Zverev. I think he has all the shots and just needs to bulk up a little bit with more muscle. From what they said, Zverev has a great team working with him. I think he has enormous potential. I really like how he stays in the fight and doesn’t quit when he’s behind or the going gets tough. I do think there is less risk with Zverev.

      Kyrgios has shown me something in his recent matches. He is unbelievably talented. When he focuses on his tennis and just goes out there and plays, you realize that he’s got all the weapons. He does seem that be injury prone, so I think there is more risk with him. I also think his unpredictability and attitude could give him problems in his career. I wonder if he will even stick with tennis. You just don’t know with him.

      For now I am just enjoying watching Kyrgios play the way he is capable of playing.

  18. It would be a real shame if Kyrgios were to withdraw. I don’t think he will -not two tournaments in a row against the same guy. Even with the knee, he gives Roger a tougher matchup. Zverev, for a dude who is 6’6, just doesn’t have a good enough serve yet. A lot will come down to Roger’s serve and, especially, ROS. If Nick plays another match in which he doesn’t have to face a break point, he will be advancing to the final.

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