Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:58
Who could have predicted that the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open would have delivered such a variety of stories and huge number of shocks?
Men’s final gallery
Women’s final gallery
Andy Murrays third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title perhaps wasnt such a surprise but there were plenty of unexpected results dealt out at Crandon Park.
Its not often the great Rafael Nadal ends up second best, but in-form Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro made sure the Spaniard has to wait at least another 12 months for his first Miami title after a three-set victory over the top seed in the last eight.
Next came Roger Federers Miami meltdown and the rare sight of the normally cool, calm and collected Swiss crunching his Wilson racket into Crandon Parks Stadium court.
With Murray breathing down his neck in the singles rankings, Novak Djokovic produced the goods over the last two weeks. His quarter-final victory over his bogeyman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was particularly satisfying for the Serb, as was his three-set victory over Federer in the last four.
And there was a welcome return to the big-time for American Taylor Dent, who has been absent for the best part of three years with various back problems. The serve-volleyer qualified for the $4.5 million event and worked his way into the last 16, beating Spains Tommy Robredo along the way.
As for the women, what about Victoria Azarenkas fantastic form?! Having broken into the top 10 after reaching the last four in Indian Wells, the Belarussian was certainly making the right noises, but few would have foreseen such a one-sided victory over five-time Miami champion Serena Williams in the final.
It was good to see Svetlana Kuznetsova featuring at the business end of a big event once again after she worked her way into the semis before falling to Azarenka. The Russians quarter-final victory over in-form Dane Caroline Wozniacki will give her confidence going into the clay court stretch.
And we love the emergence this year of Czech left-hander Iveta Benesova, who enjoyed a run to the last eight before bowing out to Venus Williams. You can read more about the world No.25 in the latest issue of the FREE tennishead ezine.