James Blake: "Federer, Nadal and Djokovic's absence is in Miami was useful"



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James Blake: "Federer, Nadal and Djokovic's absence is in Miami was useful"

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been the undisputed symbols of tennis for about a decade and a half, having posted an impressive 58 Grand Slam titles overall. For the first time since the 2004 edition of the Paris-Bercy tournament, a Masters 1000 was held without any of the Big 3 present.

In fact, the Miami Open had to collect a large number of forfeits due to the restrictions and the calendar upset by the pandemic, leading even the organizers not to set up the Hard Rock Stadium this year. The prestigious event in Florida has therefore turned into a great opportunity for the Next Gen, as well as representing a taste of what the circuit will be after the withdrawal of the three sacred monsters.

Interviewed by the official website of the ATP, Miami Open director James Blake expressed his opinion on the future of tennis and praised the great talent of some of the boys. Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz and Sebastian Korda are just some of the names that have stood out during these ten days.

"In one respect, this is a really exciting change. Men's tennis has been dominated for so long by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, but it's clear they won't be able to play indefinitely.

Without them here in Miami, we have had the opportunity to admire many new guys who are appearing at the highest level," said Blake. The 41-year-old American does not seem worried about the future of this sport: "We are still trying to figure out who has the weapons to make their mark in the coming years.

In this tournament very young guys like Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda stood out, just to name two. I'm curious to see who will take over and collect the legacy of Rafa, Roger and Novak. " Due to the strict measures dictated by the pandemic, the organizers have decided to host a very small number of spectators in Miami Gardens.

Miami Open men's singles final

Jannik Sinner became the youngest ATP Masters 1000 finalist since Rafael Nadal in 2005. The youngest to hit the final in Miami by Novak Djokovic in 2007. With the victory against Roberto Bautista Agut, he also became the second Italian in history (at least since 1990) to hit such a goal on such a stage.

He did it at the Miami Open 2021. After not taking advantage of a 6-5 advantage during a very complicated inaugural fraction (however with the service available) he completely shut down. He canceled, yes, a handful of balls for 0-5 in the second (even approaching 4-4) but he woke up too late.

After Denis Kudla, Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz completes the weekly masterpiece with a 7-6 (4) 6-4 which he builds in just over ninety minutes of play and obviously becomes the first to add the flag of Poland on the bulletin board of an ATP Master 1000 in history.

The third title in his career - obviously the most valuable - will allow him to sit on the number sixteen step of the ranking. Sinner will be twenty-two, you are in the Race.