With Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and so many more missing this year’s edition of the Miami Open, it was presumed that an unlikely player could find themselves in the later rounds.
What ended up happening—from the Hubert Hurkacz-Jannik Sinner final to Sebastian Korda’s quarterfinal appearance—was downright shocking. Multiple breakthroughs occurred throughout the 10-day tournament at a nearly unprecedented level.
While so much happened this year, the Miami Open isn’t short of surprise runs that were the start of bigger things. Here’s a look at five of those breakout performances. (All photos: Getty Images)
A Legend in the Making
Roger Federer kicked off 2004 with a start for the ages, one that saw the Swiss reach No. 1 in the world and win three of his first four tournaments, including his second career Grand Slam title in Australia. Fresh off winning the Masters event in Indian Wells, Calif., Federer headed to Miami and won his opening match. In the third round, the world No. 1 faced Rafael Nadal, a 17-year-old from Mallorca, Spain, who had been making his own gains on the men’s tour. Playing each other for the first time, Federer had no answer against Nadal and went down in straight sets. Nadal lost his next match, but let the tennis world know that he was going to be a contender for years to come.