Saturday: Tomic v. Murray / Stephens v. Williams at the Sony Open Tennis
The Sony Open is one of the only combined two week events on the ATP and WTA Tour calendars (featuring the world’s top ranked pros – 96 men and 96 women – in singles competition and 32 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams in doubles action). And Saturday’s lineup is a good example of how exciting this format can be. If you subscribe to the Tennis Channel, you can catch the action live, from 11:00am – 11:00pm.
The Saturday action at the Sony Open Tennis tournament in Miami comes down to two matches; one from the ATP and the other from the WTA. They both take place in the Stadium, one after the other. Both matches pit established veteran champions against up-and-coming players that are expected to be champions someday themselves. Who knows? That story could play itself out in the men’s second and women’s third round.
The first match to watch will be Bernard Tomic (AUS) against the world’s number three player Andy Murray (GBR). Murray received a first round bye, so this match will be his first appearance at Miami’s Crandon Park Tennis Center this year. Tomic defeated France’s Marc Gicquel [7-5, 7-6, (7-3)] in the opening round.
Tomic did a promotional press appearance with the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders yesterday. Let’s hope that inspired him to be at peak form; he’ll need it to defeat Murray. Murray has made Miami his home in the off-season, so he is used to the humid conditions there. On the other hand, Murray hasn’t had much practice against the style of play that Tomic has developed lately. Tomic can be a challenge when he mixes up his tactics with lots of angled slices and drop shots, so it all depends on whoever is having the better day.
A Radio Interview With Andy Murray…
In 2012 Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray. As for Tomic, Murray has only played him once before — in Brisbane last year. In that match, Murray easily defeated Tomic (6-3, 6-2).
The other match to watch Saturday will pit American female rising star Sloane Stephens against fellow American Venus Williams. After having taken Serena Williams out of the Australian Open quarterfinals, all eyes will be on Sloane Stephens (world ranked number 16) as she takes on Venus, currently the world’s number 18 player. But her run to the third round here has been something of a struggle, especially her (0-6, 6-4, 6-4) win over No. 64 Olga Govortsova of Belarus in second-round play. Add to that Venus’ strength as a hard court player and it’s another exciting toss up.
One other Saturday match of note:
-Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic team up as partners in a doubles match against Ivan Dodig (CRO) and Marcelo Melo (BRA). Is this a sign that the once strained relationship between the two Aussies has repaired? If so, they could be a powerful force, bringing to the court some of the same passion and competitiveness that American veteran and newcomer James Blake and Jack Sock have displayed in doubles matches this year.
The men’s and women’s finals will broadcast live on CBS. The women’s final will take place on Saturday, March 30 (12:00pm – 2:30pm). The men’s final will take place on Sunday, March 31 (11:30am – 2:00pm).
For more information on the Sony Miami Open, visit the website by clicking here.