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Miami Open draw: Medvedev in bottom half opposite Alcaraz

Based on what transpired at the BNP Paribas Open, Carlos Alcaraz won’t care who is in his quarter or half of the Miami Open draw or who he has to face on his way to another Masters 1000 title.

Daniil Medvedev, on the other hand, is probably thrilled to once again be on the opposite side of the bracket. Medvedev, who took a 6-3, 6-2 beating at Alcaraz’s hands in the Indian Wells final on Sunday, found himself in the bottom half of the draw when the ceremony was held on Monday afternoon in Miami. Alcaraz, of course, is at the top as the No. 1 seed.

The 19-year-old’s Indian Wells triumph took him back to No. 1 in the world and he will have to successfully defend his Miami title in order to stay ahead of Novak Djokovic in the rankings. Up first for Alcaraz is either Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier, while Andy Murray is a potential third-round opponent and the Spaniard could meet either Tommy Paul or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the last 16. Davidovich Fokina reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Paul had six match points against Felix Auger-Aliassime to make it that far, but the American could not convert. Holger Rune, Taylor Fritz, and Denis Shapovalov are possible quarterfinal foes for Alcaraz in what is a loaded section of the bracket.

Elsewhere in the top half, Andrey Rublev and Indian Wells semifinalist Jannik Sinner are on a collision course for the fourth round. Whoever wins that potential showdown would be favored to reach the semis and likely face Alcaraz.

Among the top contenders in the bottom half are Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, and Frances Tiafoe. Auger-Aliassime is a former semifinalist in Miami (2019) and he is coming off a quarterfinal loss to Alcaraz in Indian Wells. Hurkacz is a former Miami champion (2021). Tiafoe made a run to the Indian Wells semis this past fortnight and did the same at the 2022 U.S. Open. Stefanos Tsitsipas is the second seed at the bottom of the bracket, but he is dealing with a shoulder injury and prior to Indian Wells did not express optimism for his Sunshine Double chances (sure enough, he lost his first match in the desert to Jordan Thompson).

First-round Miami matchups to watch are Dominic Thiem vs. Lorenzo Sonego, Gael Monfils vs. Ugo Humbert, Alexander Bublik vs. J.J. Wolf, and Mikael Ymer vs. Alexei Popyrin.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.