This will be a first between these two players.
Feliciano Lopez will play this tournament in Miami for the 18th time in his career. He has lost 8 times in the first match, and his best performance is a 1/8 final in 2007.
For his part, Alexei Popyrin will participate in the final draw of this American Masters 1000 for the first time in his career.
One thing is sure: if these two men serve as they know how, then it will be difficult to decide between them.
Fortunately for Alexei Popyrin, Feliciano Lopez is on a downward slope. The 39 year old Spanish is getting more and more feverish about his commitments. Be careful not to distort my words. The man is still a very good server. It’s just that he tends to lose consistency as the match goes on, and that benefits his opponents.
Alexei Popyrin has been playing very nice tennis for a few weeks now. He had this little click in Singapore (first ATP title), which allows him to play with more confidence (and it shows).
Specifically, I expect Feliciano Lopez to open up more possibilities on his serves. In rallies, the Spanish tends to slow down the game and this should allow the Australian to let his attacks go.
Alexei Popyrin is also better at holding rallies. He has no problem making the necessary efforts to return a ball, which is not always the case with Feliciano Lopez.
The Spanish will certainly not be taken lightly. If he wants to win, Alexei Popyrin will have to stay focused. Lopez certainly wouldn’t say no to a Masters 1000 second round if he feels he has the ability.
A tight first set with a tie-break, to put some tension in this match?
Prediction: Alexei Popyrin wins