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Miami Women's Final Preview; Rafa's Remarks Post-withdrawal today

March 31, 2012 | 12:33 PM

Women's Final Scheduled at 12:30 EST on CBS

Only half the scream fest as the Indian Wells or Oz final, thanks to Aga Rad, this match promises a contrast of style and personality. Aga, who's 25 and 4 and hasn't lost a match to anyone but Vika this year, has a poor history with Maria (1 and 7) but a new coach (not her father). Though Maria may be favored, look for Aga to take her first WTA Premier event (equal to an ATP 1000). Should she win it, she'll be within 200 points of catching Kvitova, a good place for her to be before the clay season when Petra stands to lose big points if she doesn't start playing well enough to repeat her two final results in Premier events (she won Madrid).

After the women play, the men's doubles final will be on, but you may have to go online for this one:

[7] Leander Paes (IND)

Radek Stepanek (CZE)


[2] Max Mirnyi (BLR)

Daniel Nestor (CAN)

Interesting to note that the average age of the 4 doubles players is 37, 12 years older than Murray and Joker. This is more than the average age gap between top 10 ATP singles players and top 10 ATP doubles players, which is 7 years (it's 6 years greater for top 10 WTA doubles players than singles players, though the average player's age is younger for women by 3.5 years in singles and 4.5 in doubles).

Rafa's Comments on his Troubled Left Knee

It bothered him enough in January to make him announce he'd take 6 weeks off between Oz and Indian Wells, and it bothered him enough this week (including yesterday in the 3rd set against Tsonga, when he had 3 massage breaks) to drop out today rather than play another long match or two with #4 Murray and perhaps #1 Joker (who is in the final after a 6-0, 7-6 (5) win over the overachiever, Juan Monaco). He'll have a little over 2 weeks before he's due to start defending his title in Monte Carlo, where he's won a record 7 times in a row (it might kill him to give up the title and lose the chance for 8 or more in a row without an asterisk). He says he can do it because he now knows how, and has strengthened his tendons since '09 when he missed months of the season after Paris.

Just how does he do this, legally? That remains to be definitively answered, though rumours include his getting platelet enriched injections in the knee (using his own blood), a therapy which is widely available and legal here in the U.S.

What are Murray's odds v Joker?

40%, according to Sackmann (a very long 40, perhaps...).


Miami Sony Ericsson Open: 3.30.12

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