John McEnroe Tennis Academy
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Two-time champion (2005-06) Roger Federer, who is number one in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings for the 275th week (as of Mar. 22), leads an outstanding field which features 16 of the Top 20 players. Federer is the top seed for the sixth time in seven years (except last year).

Six players have accomplished the Indian Wells-Miami title sweep in the same year since 1991 when Jim Courier pulled it off. Federer is the only active player to win both titles in the same year, as he did it back-to-back in 2005-06. Croat Ivan Ljubicic, who at 31 years old, became the oldest player to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells, will look to add his name to the list.

Defending champion Andy Murray is one of four former winners in the field--Novak Djokovic (2007), Federer (2005-06) and Andy Roddick (2004). The Miami champion has been ranked in the Top 10 every year since 1992 with Courier the last winner outside the Top 10 at number 18 in 1991.

In the first quarter of the draw, Federer, who owns a 34-9 lifetime record in Miami, opens against a qualifier or Italian Potito Starace. The first seed Federer could face is number 26 Albert Montanes in the third round (Federer leads 3-0) or possibly wild card and 2003 runner-up Carlos Moya (Federer leads 7-0). In the fourth round, the Swiss could meet No. 16 Tomas Berdych (Federer leads 8-1) or number 20 Gilles Simon, who won the previous two meetings.

In the quarter-finals, Federer could face number seven-ranked Marin Cilic (Federer leads 1-0), number 10 Fernando Verdasco (Federer leads 4-0), number 23 Jurgen Melzer (never met) or number 25 Marcos Baghdatis (Federer leads 6-1). The Cypriot saved three match points in the third round in Indian Wells and prevailed in a third set tie-break. Verdasco and Melzer could meet in the third round (Verdasco leads 3-1) while Baghdatis and Cilic could square off in the same round (never met).

In the second quarter of the draw, No. 3 and defending champion Andy Murray, who is coming off a quarter-final effort in Indian Wells, takes on Mardy Fish (Murray leads 3-1) or Leonardo Mayer (Murray leads 1-0) in his first match. Murray could meet number 29 seed Feliciano Lopez in the third round (Murray leads 2-0). In the fourth round, Murray could take on number 13 Mikhail Youzhny (Murray leads 2-0) or number 19 Stanislas Wawrinka (Murray leads 5-3). Murray's possible quarter-final opponents include number five seed Robin Soderling (tied 2-2), who defeated the Scot in Indian Wells, number nine-ranked Fernando Gonzalez (Gonzalez leads 2-1), a semi-finalist in 2004, number 22 Juan Monaco (tied 1-1) or number 31Janko Tipsarevic (tied 3-3).

In the bottom half of the draw (third quarter), No. 4 and two-time runner-up Rafael Nadal opens against Taylor Dent or a qualifier. The first seed Nadal could meet is number 30 Viktor Troicki (Nadal leads 3-0) in the third round. In the fourth round, Nadal could play No. 15 David Ferrer (Nadal leads 8-3) or number 24 Ivo Karlovic (Nadal leads 3-0). Karlovic, who is 0-6 lifetime in Miami, takes on a qualifier or Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in his first match.

In the quarter-finals, Nadal could meet No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Nadal leads 4-1), number 12 Juan Carlos Ferrero (Nadal leads 6-2), number 17 John Isner (Nadal leads 1-0) or number 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber (Nadal leads 5-0). In the third round Tsonga could face Kohlschreiber (tied 1-1) and Isner could meet Ferrero for the first time.

In the final quarter, world number two and 2007 champion Novak Djokovic opens against the winner of Olivier Rochus (Rochus leads 2-1)-Richard Gasquet (Djokovic leads 2-1). Djokovic, who is 12-3 lifetime in Miami, could face number 27 Thomaz Bellucci (never met) in the third round. Bellucci takes on the winner of Serbian wild card Filip Krajinovic and James Blake. Djokovic’s possible fourth round opponents are number 14 Gael Monfils (Djokovic leads 4-0) or number 21 Sam Querrey (Djokovic leads 3-0). In the quarter-finals Djokovic could face number six Andy Roddick, who leads 4-2 against the Serb, number 11 Ivan Ljubicic (Djokovic leads 5-2 although the Croat won in Indian Wells), number 18 Tommy Robredo (Djokovic leads 5-1), or number 32 Julien Benneteau (Djokovic leads 3-1).

Roddick, who has won the most matches (20) on the ATP World Tour this season, opens against Russian Igor Andreev (tied 2-2) or a qualifier. The first seed Roddick could face in the third round is Benneteau (Roddick leads 3-1). Roddick has a 25-9 record in Miami and he's reached the quarterfinals or better in five of the past six years (except in 2005). He’s coming off a runner-up showing in Indian Wells (loss to Ljubicic). Ljubicic, who reached the final in Miami in 2006 (loss to Federer), plays the winner of Germans Simon Greul and Benjamin Becker in his first match. The Croat could meet Robredo in the third round (Ljubicic leads 5-1).