Roger Federer talks about his return, playing in Miami Open
Roger Federer: It has been 11 years since the Swiss master last won a title in Key Biscayne (2006). He withdrew last year with a stomach flu but is healthy and on fire this season with titles at the Australian Open and Indian Wells, California.
Rafael Nadal: The Spaniard has made four finals here, but a trophy has eluded him. Like Federer, he is playing some of his best tennis after struggling with injuries. Nadal’s game favors the conditions at the Miami Open, so this could be the year he finally goes all the way.
Stan Wawrinka: Once again, the Swiss three-time Grand Slam champion will try to emerge from Federer’s shadow. They played in the Indian Wells final last weekend, and Federer won. Wawrinka is the top seed here, and that should help.
Kei Nishikori: Last year’s finalist lost to Novak Djokovic but made a statement by getting to the championship match. The No. 2 seed spent years training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, so he likes Florida conditions.
Milos Raonic: The big-hitting Canadian was one win away from a title in Delray Beach last month but was forced to withdraw before the final with a hamstring injury. He also was slowed by an abductor injury during the Australian Open match against Nadal. If he stays healthy, he is always a threat.
Angelique Kerber: The world No. 1 got off to a slow start this season, so she wants to redeem herself. It won’t be easy. She could have a tricky third-round match against Daria Kasatkina, who upset her twice this year. Her side of the draw also includes Venus Williams, and last year’s runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova, coming off the final at Indian Wells.
Karolina Pliskova: Third-ranked Czech player Pliskova has won two titles this season in Brisbane and Doha, and she reached the semifinals at Indian Wells before bowing out to Kuznetsova. Toughest obstacles in her quarter of the draw could be Coco Vandeweghe and Agnieszka Radwanska.
Svetlana Kuznetsova: The Spanish-speaking Russian won on Key Biscayne in 2006, and 10 years later, last spring, reached the final by ending Serena Williams’ 20-match win streak. She is spirited 31-year-old who is in top form and has the power and grit to make deep runs.
Garbine Muguruza: The Spaniard is the reigning French Open champion, ranked No. 6 in the world, and last year lost a two-tiebreaker match to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka.
Madison Keys: With Serena out, the American hopes lie with Venus and with 22-year-old Keys, who broke into the top 10 at No. 9. She is one of the few players on the women’s side with the power to keep up with the Williams sisters. Keys has played only three matches this year following a wrist injury, but she could be dangerous.