The month of March sees two of the biggest tournaments outside of the Slam and the year end championships. The double dose of Indian Wells and Miami – played back to back and simultaneously on both tours consistently offer high drama, atmosphere and more often than not a few surprises in the latter rounds.
This year was no exception, with the much fancied form players again coming up short – but at these events this is as much due to the 128 player draws for both competitions which cranks up the quality from the offset. Former champions Federer and Nadal fell in the third round and semi finals respectively in Indian Wells with Murray, Djokovic and Davydenko also failing to make serious headway.
The road was left for Ivan Ljubicic to take along overdue first masters series title beating Andy Roddick in a decent final. Jelena Jankovic’s victory continued to encapsulate the unpredictability of the WTA – the Serbian it is fair to say, has been regarded as still very much on the long road to recovery after some erratic form at best.
Miami saw an early loss again for last years champion Murray – still yet to re-ignite his season after that Australian Open which he believed he would win. Federer too lost to eventual finalist Berdych and the aforementioned players faltered also. Andy Roddick secured another Miami title and will be full of confidence after some consistently better tennis in the last twelve months. Kim Clijsters dominated the women’s event with the crucial win coming over compatriot Henin in the semis – a must win match especially as the lay season draws near and Clijsters loses any advantage over Henin in the red dirt formbook. Venus Williams was a bit off-colour all tournament and never looked like matching an in-form Kim.
BNP Paribas Open – Indian Wells, Florida – Ivan Ljubicic def Andy Roddick
Sony Ericsson Open – Miami – Andy Roddick def Tomas Berdych
BNP Paribas Open – Indian Wells, Florida – Jelena Jankovic def Caroline Wozniaki
Sony Ericsson Open – Miami – Kim Clijsters def Venus Williams