Miami Open has entered a new era after leaving Key Biscayne and moving into Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, Rafael Nadal, who is still waiting for his first Miami Open title Due to rain, the final qualifying round is played concurrently with the first round, so the qualifiers will not be included in this draw preview.
The top seed Novak Djokovic will start his tournament with an exciting opener against Bernard Tomic or Tomas Berdych, two of the more well-known names outside of the top 50. Djokovic's seed in his section is No. 32, John Millman, one of the easiest seeds in the draw. Going past that into the Round of 16, the Serb could face 15th seed Fabio Fognini or 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Both lost in straight sets in their opening matches in Indian Wells. Djokovic's countryman Janko Tipsarevic, attempting another comeback in 2019 aged 34. The world No. 453 could take advantage of his potential opponents' poor form and go on a run.
Possibly waiting for Djokovic in the quarterfinals could be the defending champion and seventh seed John Isner. Also looming in the section are Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille and Indian Wells semifinalist Milos Raonic. These are dangerous players, but Isner lost to Khachanov in straight sets, Pouille won only four games in three sets against Djokovic in their last meeting, and Raonic's semifinal run was without facing a top 50 player. All in all, a pleasant early draw for Djokovic.
The Indian Wells winner and third seed Dominic Thiem will be looking to complete the Sunshine Double, but he might face quite the challenge from Hubert Hurkacz, who had the best week of his career so far in Indian Wells, beating Lucas Pouille, Kei Nishikori, and Denis Shapovalov en route to a quarterfinal.
Thiem's other seed in his section is Marton Fucsovics who pushed Stan Wawrinka to 7-5 in the third set in his Indian Wells opener. In the Round of 16, Thiem could face Gael Monfils, who withdrew from their match in Indian Wells or 17th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili who has struggled in 2019 so far.
In the quarterfinals, a number of dangerous opponents could await Thiem, including fifth seed Kei Nishikori, 11th seed Borna Coric, or 27th seed Nick Kyrgios. Still, this should be Thiem's quarter to lose.
The top seed of the third quarter is fourth seed Roger Federer, who completed the Sunshine Double in 2017 and reached the finals of Indian Wells. The draw has set up an early test for Federer in the form his fellow Swiss, Stan Wawrinka, seeded 30th.
The two faced each other in the Round of 32 in Indian Wells, and we might get a repeat of the same match at the same stage of the tournament in Miami. In the next round, Federer's draw does not get easier, with the possibility of 13th seed Daniil Medvedev, who has a 15-5 record in 2019, 21st seed Diego Schwartzman, or the in-form German Jan-Lennard Struff.
In the quarterfinals, awaiting Federer might be sixth seed Kevin Anderson, who hasn't played since his second-round exit at the Australian Open. Other dangerous floaters in the section include 24th seed Grigor Dimitrov, 10th seed Karen Khachanov, or the unpredictable Frenchman, Benoit Paire.
After Nadal's withdrawal, Alexander Zverev takes the second seed in the Miami Open draw. The 21-year-old exited Indian Wells in the third round, and his Miami draw also has the potential for an early upset. Zverev opens against Sam Querrey or wildcard David Ferrer.
Looming in the Round of 32 is the trio of Frances Tiafoe, Ernests Gulbis, or Miomir Kecmanovic, all dangerous opponents. If Zverev does survive this early onslaught, waiting for him in the Round of 16 could be 14th seed Marco Cecchinato, 18th seed David Goffin, or the veteran Ivo Karlovic.
When we look forward to the quarterfinals, it does seem like Alexander Zverev has been handed one of the toughest draws in Miami, with the possibility of Denis Shapovalov, 8th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, or 9th seed Marin Cilic looking to halt his way to the semifinals.