Men's Miami Preview: Rebel Yell

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If you didn’t know better, you might have assumed that Novak Djokovic’s win over Roger Federer at Indian Wells represented a continuation of the status quo that has reigned in men’s tennis for the better part of a decade. That is, the Big Four keeping its stranglehold on the Grand Slam and Masters 1000 tournaments.

So what could possibly be so different starting Wednesday in the second Masters event of March, in Miami?

The answer? A lot. For if you were paying attention last week, you probably sensed that a rebellion is brewing in the ranks. The natives who have lived under the collective heavy thumb of the Big Four are getting restless, as evidenced by the fact that only two of the top eight seeds (the finalists, Djokovic and Federer) reached the last eight. It will be interesting to see if the insurgents can continue to make life more dangerous for Top 10-grade players than it’s been in a long time.

The hard courts in Miami will be just as slow as those in the desert, and probably will seem even slower when you factor in the heavier, humid air. The heat and moisture may also have a more marked effect on players who don’t enjoy playing in a sauna.

Will we once again witness a great balance between highly competitive, often surprising results—and the ultimate triumph of the upper crust? Click on the banner below for a quarter-by-quarter preview and predictions.

For more of this week's Tennis Tuesday, click here.

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