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The Indian Wells and the Miami Open ATP Masters 1000 Tournaments are the next tennis events played during March and April of 2022 in the United States.
Over the past month, there has been a lot of tennis for the professional circuit. It seems like the sport has finally moved on from the Australian Open vaccine saga about Novak Djokovic. The World No.1 was deported from the country after the Australian Immigration minister Alex Hawke decided to exercise his power to revoke the defending champion's visa on the Federal Court.
The ATP 500 events in Dubai and Acapulco were the two most important tennis tournaments last month after the first Grand Slam of the year. As has been the case for years now, Rafael Nadal headed to the Mexican Open in Acapulco alongside Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. At the same time, Novak Djokovic participated in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships comprising a star-studded line-up of players, including Andy Murray, Andrey Rublev, and Jannik Sinner, amongst others. The results were quite interesting.
In the lead-up to the Dubai tournament, most were looking at how Djokovic would fare after quite a long and turbulent break from tennis. Unfortunately for him, it didn't go well since he was knocked out from the tournament's quarter-finals by the now 74 ranked Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic. Vesely wasn't done after stunning Djokovic as he went on to win the semifinal and book his spot in the title match. However, his opponent Russian Andrey Rublev had found his old form, defeating him in straight sets to lift the trophy.
In Acapulco, meanwhile, the field was headlined by Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev. The fans from the get-go were anticipating a clash between the two, especially after their epic five-set, five hours, and twenty-four minute long battle in the Australian Open final at Melbourne Park. It happened. What's more, the result turned out to be the same as their last face-off, with the Russian being unable to convince the rampant Spaniard who won in straight sets. The 21-time Grand Slam champion showed no signs of mercy as he beat Cameron Norrie, the sixth seed from Great Britain, in straight sets, improving to 15 wins against 0 losses in 2022.
Medvedev became the new ATP World No.1 (the first time since February 2004, for a non-Big-4 player) after Djokovic failed to make his mark in Dubai.
Anyways, now the tour's focus will shift to the American hard-court swing where Indian Wells and Miami Open, both Masters 1000 tennis tournaments, will go ahead together for the first time since 2019. Moreover, as things stand, unlike the last editions of these tournaments, most of the top players will be participating, including Nadal, Medvedev, Zverev, and Tsitsipas. But, once more, the Novak Djokovic situation is still very unclear. The tournaments in question officially require all players to be fully vaccinated to compete, which renders Djokovic unable to do so, which he admitted recently. However, the latest entry lists of Indian Wells and Miami both include him in the playing field, suggesting the possibility of some relaxation in the as-of-now strict entry requirements.
Whatever happens, this year's Indian Wells and Miami are two highly anticipated tournaments because of the participation of the best players and their extraordinary physical and mental form. Rafael Nadal is at his best now, but other players like Tsistsipas and Zverev are big contenders, considering that they have advanced to the last rounds in recent events. Medvedev, as mentioned earlier, very nearly beat Nadal in Down Under. He was two sets to love up before he somehow fell short and ended up losing the final in five sets. Long story short, there is a lot to look forward to in tennis in the coming days, with long, grueling contests certainly on the horizon.
Speaking of the top players like Nadal and Medvedev, let's now look at the racquets they use.
The Babolat Pure Aero is the racquet that Rafa Nadal uses. But his racquet is a modified version to suit his style of play. A primary reason for the Spaniard's deadly game is his ability to produce massive topspin on his forehand strokes that make the ball bounce very high. His opponents have to play a defensive game and struggle to dictate the play. The Babolat Pure Aero is one of the best tennis racquets for a maximum spin generation.
Daniil Medvedev plays with a slightly customized version of the Tecnifibre TFight 305 RS racquet. Very importantly, he uses the Tecnifibre Ice Code string. This string is for offensive baseliners, and Medvedev is one of them. He doesn't shy away from engaging in long rallies and prefers dictating play from the back of the court. Moreover, his unorthodox style of play is a crucial advantage for him from the baseline, with his low bouncing shots often being difficult for his opponents.