Match Preview Zverev vs Carreno Busta 31.03 Miami Open 2018

Miami, USA, Hard Courts, ATP

Latest posts by Tennis Purist (see all)

I was surprised to see Zverev win in straight sets yesterday, however i was impressed with his game plan, which he executed very well. It was another good week for Coric though, who continues to improve, I expect to see him win a title or two this year.

Today sees us take a look at Zverev again, as he plays Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta in the Semi Finals.

Previous Meetings

This is amazingly this pairs first meeting, and I think it’s a really intriguing match up and I do not buy into the opinion that this is a given for Zverev at all.

Zverev has beaten Medvedev, Ferrer, Kyrgios and Coric so far, and I think he has got better and better with each match he’s played. Carreno Busta is a different type of opponent altogether though, and it will be interesting to see what game plan he brings onto court today.

Carreno Busta won a marathon match against big serving Kevin Anderson last night, saving a match point in the third set breaker too. Prior to that he has beaten Istomin, Johnson and Verdasco, dropping just the one set all tournament.

Zverev’s Miami Open Tournament Mean Serving Stats

Won 68% of his service points

Held serve 83% of the time

Looking at Zverev’s serving numbers from Miami, he’s serving very well. Also his first serve % is up at 77%, meaning that he is serving plenty of aces and winning plenty of free points. He’ll need to keep these number high today, as Busta is a very strong returner.

Carreno Busta’s Miami Open Tournament Mean Serving Stats

Won 66% of his service points

Held serve 85% of the time

Carreno Busta has also served very well this week, and has faced less break points than Zverev. This is a slightly ‘fabricated’ stat bearing in mind he’s played less adept returners than Zverev, however it’s still impressive and not something that can be ignored.

Zverev’s Miami Open Tournament Mean Return Stats

Won 40% of his return points

Won 43% of his break points

Opponents have held 75% of the time against him

Zverev’s return numbers are all slightly above the tournament average, however the only ‘big server’ he’s played is Krgios, so we should possibly expect these numbers to be slightly more impressive. I expect him to go after the Carreno Busta serve today, however the German can be inconsistent when attempting to be over-aggressive off the return.

Carreno Busta’s Miami Open Tournament Mean Return Stats

Won 47% of his return points

Won 50% of his break points

Opponents have held 56% of the time against him

Carreno Busta’s return numbers here are extremely strong, and actually i think if he can keep them around this level today he will win the match. Also all of Carreno Busta’s opponents have had strong serves (with possibly the exception of Verdasco these days), making these stats even more impressive. I expect the Spaniard to break Zverev in each set played today.

Zverev’s Groundstrokes

Zverev is an aggressive baseliner, he hits the ball hard and pretty flat off the backhand side, and with a bit more topspin on the forehand. He certainly favours his double handed backhand wing, as the forehand can be inconsistent and pulled into the net at times. He will look to dictate the points, but will need to remain patient during the rallies today, as Coric will not beat himself.

Carreno Busta’s Groundstrokes

Carreno Busta has been more aggressive during this tournament, and i think this has really helped him to regain some form and confidence. He is better when looking to counter-punch rather than just grind at the back of the court. I think he’ll know that in order to win today he’ll need to continue to look to be aggressive, and look out for him looking to take the forehand on regularly today. He is a better athlete than Zverev, so expect him to make plenty of balls and look to disrupt the German’s rhythm.


Based on the stats for the tournament so far, and the fact that i think Carreno Busta’s game style is a bad match up for Zverev, i’m siding with the underdog here and going to say that the Spaniard will win. If Zverev plays near to his best though and Carreno Busta gets tight and doesn’t maintain his aggressive style then the German will most certainly be victorious. I expect an entertaining match here.

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