The Pick, March 28, Miami: Dimitrov vs. Pospisil, Monfils vs. Krajinovic

Dimitrov IW 15 TR MALT5209

Grigor Dimitrov has admitted that he is slumping a bit because he is changing his game. That is unusual for the 23-year-old during the
season, but he is, which means that he is getting frustrated because he isn’t sure where to go. However, he is super talented and soon, he will be hitting the right shots.

The No. 11 will play Vasek Pospisil, who bested Juan Martin Del Potro in the first round. The big se
rver stuck in there, didn’t panic and was able to strike his forehand. Yes, he can out hit Dimitrov, but the Bulgarian will confuse him when he chops his one-handed backhand low. Dimitrov will win in three sets but it will be very tight.

Is Gael Monfils ready to rumble again? It’s hard to stay: some days he is on fire, and there are other days when his knees creek and he can’t bend low. The Frenchman reached the final of Marseille and nearly beat Gilles Simon, which is fine either way, but then he got hurt again after Davis Cup he had to skip at Indian Wells.

We will soon how good he feels against the Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who has been respectable this year, qualifying for Memphis, IW and now Miami. He may not be as relentless like his boss Novak Djokovic, but on occasion he will find the lines. However, Monfils will get through in three sets, even though he has never played Miami before. This time, one time, for sure? Perhaps.

Angie Kerber vs. Heather Watson is on Court 9? Wow, the German is almost forgotten. Yes, Kerber has had a very difficult year, but she has reached a semifinal at a Grand Slam once, she became No. 5 in 2012, and won the Paris Indoors. Yes, this season she let go her coach go and brought in an old one whom she trusts, but still, she isn’t winning, and was crushed by Vika Azarenka at IW. However, the super-steady, very strong Kerber will come back. At the very least, she is very interesting on court. Given that many of the fans will go to watch her, and the British will cheer for Watson, it should be a terrific contest. Both like to grind, get into the points and rally.

Watson has improved this year, hitting hard and moving inside the baseline on occasion. Watson must be salivating against the No. 15. However, Kerber is way over due and will out hit Heather using her ferocious forehand and win in three sets.

Carla Suarez-Navvaro faces Alize Cornet in what should be a long contest, as both know each other well. They are around of the same age (Suarez is 26 and Cornet is 25), they both are not very tall and the Frenchwoman is 3-2 head to head against the Spaniard. The last time they played, Cornet beat Suarez 6-7(4) 7-5 6-3 at 2014 Indian Wells. Cornet also won at Dubai.

Yes, Suarez looks better this year, who is now ranked No. 12 and could actually make it into the top 10. She mixes her one-handed backhand beautifully and she crunches some heavy topspin on her forehand. However, when she is happy and confident, Cornet focuses and knows exactly what she should do. But this year, she has looked unsure of herself. Suarez will win in straight sets.

Sometimes you just have to exist out there

By Matt Cronin


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