Carlos Alcaraz’s path to becoming the eighth player to win the Sunshine Double was set on Monday. But the Spaniard will need to overcome a series of difficult tests if he is to defend his Miami Open presented by Itau title and hold onto top spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
The Spaniard lifted the trophy in south Florida last year and arrives this week off the back of a run to the title in Indian Wells, which propelled him back to World No. 1. The 19-year-old must win his fourth ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami to remain on top, though, where he begins against Argentine Facundo Bagnis or a qualifier.
Alcaraz could face former World No. 1 and two-time Miami champion Andy Murray in the third round and in-form American Tommy Paul in the fourth round. The top seed is seeded to face ninth seed Taylor Fritz or seventh seed Holger Rune in the quarter-finals and could renew his rivalry against Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals.
The Italian Sinner, who could meet Andrey Rublev in the fourth round and third seed Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals, lost to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semi-finals last week in their fifth ATP Head2Head meeting.
The third seed Casper Ruud reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami last year and will be hoping the hard-court event can once again provide him with a springboard to build from. Holding a 4-5 record on the season, the Norwegian opens against Ilya Ivashka or a qualifier and is seeded to meet Alexander Zverev in the fourth round. The German Zverev starts against Arthur Rinderknech or Taro Daniel.
In the bottom half of the draw, Daniil Medvedev will look to begin another winning run when he opens against Bernabe Zapata Miralles or Roberto Carballes Baena. The 27-year-old won 19 matches in a row before Alcaraz defeated him in the Indian Wells final.
The fourth seed could meet Matteo Berrettini in a blockbuster fourth-round clash and Hubert Hurkacz or Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals. Hurkacz lifted the biggest trophy of his career in Miami in 2021 and reached the semi-finals last year.
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will look to bounce back from an opening-round exit in Indian Wells when he takes on Richard Gasquet or a qualifier. The Greek, who enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals in Miami in 2021, is seeded to meet seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last eight. The Canadian Auger-Aliassime, currently at a career-high No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, could play Indian Wells semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round. Auger-Aliassime reached the semi-finals in Miami on his debut in 2019.
#NextGenATP American Ben Shelton will play Chinese wild card Juncheng Shang or Adrian Mannarino on his debut in Maimi, with Hurkacz a potential third-round opponent.