TennisSection previews the 2021 Miami Open as Daniil Medvedev (1) meets Frances Tiafoe in the Round of 16 on Tuesday March 30th, 2021.
An exciting match awaits us in the Round of 16 here at the 2021 Miami Open. Top seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia will face talented young American Frances Tiafoe in what is sure to be a spectacular matchup. Neither player has been at his best so far here in Miami, but they have both been able to grind wins out which is important for their confidence. Can the American cause a stunning upset over the seemingly vulnerable Russian star? Or will the number one seed rediscover his form and advance to the Quarter-Finals? Regardless of the outcome, it is sure to be a very entertaining match as both players play a very flashy brand of tennis. Who will win here?
Danill Medvedev has had an outstanding season so far here in 2021, reaching the Australian Open Final and winning the title in Marseille. He has seen his ranking rise to a career-high #2, surpassing the great Rafael Nadal. The tall Russian is seeded number one here in Miami and is considered the favorite for the title, but it has not been smooth sailing for him thus far. After a comprehensive win in the Second Round over Yen-Hsun Lu, he was surprisingly taken to three sets by Alexei Popyrin after having multiple match points. These types of mental lapses are the big weakness in his game, and had it been a slightly stronger opponent he likely would have been on the plane home now. He will have to be much improved here over Frances Tiafoe, who is a much more experienced opponent than the young Aussie.
Frances Tiafoe has long been considered one of the brightest young stars on the ATP Tour, but has seen his ranking slide over the past few years. His consistency seemingly deserted him and he struggled for a while, but is seemingly back to his best in 2021. Currently ranked #58, he will be hoping to break back into the top 30 where he was once. Like his opponent Daniil Medvedev, he has struggled a bit so far here at the 2021 Miami Open, losing the opening set in all three of his matches so far. While he fought back well to win each time, he will be wary that this current opponent is much stronger than the others, and he may not be able to get away with that again. Given his immense talent and confidence, and Medvedev’s recent struggle, Tiafoe will be backing himself to win here.
The two players have faced each other three times on the ATP Tour, with Medvedev leading the head to head 3-0. This is a tough match to predict given the players’ current form. Daniil Medvedev is clearly the superior player but his lapse in concentration against Popyrin is likely on his mind. Frances Tiafoe is a fighter as evidenced from his three wins coming from a set down so far, and will certainly not let up here. Despite this, I do think that Medvedev will get the win here and advance to the Quarter-Finals at the 2021 Miami Open. It would not be shocking to see Tiafoe sneak a set, but it is unlikely that the Russian will give two poor performances in a row at such a big event. His elite defense will counter Tiafoe’s offense well, and he is expected to win here.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win