Friday 29th March 2019

Event of the Day: Miami Open

Our event of the day is the continuation of the semifinals at the Miami Open at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. In the men’s draw, defending champion John Isner will play Felix Auger-Aliassime while Roger Federer faces Denis Shapovalov. In the women’s doubles draw, sisters Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan clash with Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai while defending champion Ashleigh Barty and her new partner Victoria Azarenka face Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka. There is a lot of tennis you won’t want to miss today. John Isner will face young Canadian phenom Felix Auger-Aliassime for a chance to defend his title.

This year, Isner is the seventh seed and is yet to drop a set as he has enjoyed an easy path through the tournament. He has only faced a single seeded opponent, nineteenth seed Kyle Edmund. However, of the six sets he has played, he has won five of them via tiebreak. Isner is yet to fully find his comfort zone in the competition. Miami marks Isner’s fourth semi-final of the year, an undeniably strong start to 2019. That said, his opponent today is continuing the trend of  young, upstart Canadians doing big things. Felix Auger-Aliassime fought through qualifying before beating twenty-ninth seed Márton Fucsovics, Indian Wells quarter-finalist Hubert Hurkacz, seventeenth seed Nikoloz Basilashivili and eleventh seed Borna Ćorić. Auger-Aliassime has shown his promise this season with three round of thirty-two appearances and a finals appearance at the Brasil Open. He could very easily pull an upset to remember against the veteran American today. In the other semi-final, Roger Federer will play Denis Shapovalov. Both men will be tired after extensive rain delays affected the start times of their quarterfinals yesterday. However, they will be eager to fight for a place in the final. Federer will look to capitalise on a simple straight sets victory over Kevin Anderson. Anderson was Federer’s first seeded opponent of the competition, where he has had little difficulty. A win today would allow him to compete for the 101st trophy of his career. Shapovalov on the other hand held off the dangerous Frances Tiafoe to secure a place in this semi-final. The Canadian has had a fairly easy run up until today, overcoming just the one seeded opponent in Stefanos Tsitisipas. This semi-final appearance is also an improvement on Shapovalov’s round of sixteen exit last year. Today also sees the semifinals of the women’s doubles draw. Eighth seeded Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan will look to progress to the final at the expense of six seeded pair Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai. In the other semi-final, reigning champion Ashleigh Barty will look to reach the final and defend her 2018 title with new partner Victoria Azarenka. In their way are the unseeded pair of Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka, Be sure you don’t miss any of the action in Miami today.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NBA, where the Boston Celtics host the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. With seven games remaining for both teams, tonight is a crucial match for home court advantage in what will most likely be the first round first playoff fixture between the fourth and fifth seeds. The Pacers, who have flagged in recent weeks, hold a narrow one-game lead over the Celtics. This is one game you will not want to miss. Elsewhere, in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Sweet 16 round concludes. The Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., hosts the matches from the Eastern region, with 1st seed Duke facing 4th Virginia Tech and 2nd seed Michigan State squaring off against 3rd seed LSU. Meanwhile, the Sprint Arena in Kansas City sees the matches from the Midwestern region. 1st seed North Carolina plays 5th seed Auburn while 2nd seed Kentucky clashes with 3rd seed Houston. Be sure you don’t miss some of the best teams in colleges basketball going head to head. In the AFL, the Sydney Swans host the Adelaide Crows at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the MLS, Toronto FC host New York City FC at BMO Field. On the LPGA Tour, the Kia Classic continues at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California. In the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche face the Arizona Coyotes at the Pepsi Center. In the European Rugby Challenge Cup, Sale host Connacht at the AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester for their quarter-final fixture.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

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Photos by ATP Tour

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