Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews the 2018 Miami Open presented by Itau.

Well this was fun, wasn’t it?

By this, we mean: the complete domination of Naomi Osaka, who defeated three seeded players and rode an aggressive and relentless game to the title on the women’s draw in Indian Wells, and the return to the greatest of stages for Juan Martin del Potro, him too leaving California with a new title to add to his resume after defeating Roger Federer in what could very well become the match of the year.

All in all, the BNP Paribas Open sure as hell delivered enough to be worthy of its “Fifth Grand Slam” monicker, and then some. And now we’re in Miami for yet another combined Masters 1000 and WTA Premier event.

Men’s draw

Is there no thing that Roger Federer can’t do? After a marathon near-triumph in California, the Swiss Guy headed over to Chicago to hang out with Nick Kyrgios and some other guy (lol) to discuss #LaverCup things and just enjoy being generally awesome. So really, if you bet on tennis, how difficult could competing in this week’s Miami Open presented by Itau might be? You’re still in MIAMI.

We’re doubling down on the second section of this men’s main draw, envisioning a scenario where two players who haven’t always been known for their reliability decide to put it all together and emerge unscathed. Risk big in order to win big, you know? Good luck to us. Otherwise, we are well aware that our fascination with Novak Djokovic is now well past the point of reason: in other words, we predict that the Serb will do well because we hope he will and it isn’t based on actual form and results. Meanwhile, the fourth section is supposedly Marin Cilic’s to lose, but we know better.

Quarterfinals: Roger Federer over Kyle Edmund; Nick Kyrgios over Borna Coric; Novak Djokovic over Milos Raonic; Hyeon Chung over John Isner

Semifinals: Roger Federer over Nick Kyrgios; Novak Djokovic over Hyeon Chung

Final: Roger Federer over Novak Djokovic

*****

Women’s draw

It’s been little steps for Victoria Azarenka since finally coming back to tennis and truly, it doesn’t matter one bit so long as she’s happy. But let’s envision a big break for her here in Miami. In the second section of the draw, Garbine Muguruza is supposedly the favourite but she’s spent the better part of three months in 2018 alternating between wins and losses. If she doesn’t put it all together, we’re down with picking her in this space for future installments.

As for the third section of the draw, all we really want is to watch this first round match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. We live for these moments. At the bottom, we will have a quarterfinal between two veterans who are currently playing great tennis in Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams.

Quarterfinals: Karolina Pliskova over Victoria Azarenka; Garbine Muguruza over Angelique Kerber; Elina Svitolina over Petra Kvitova; Venus Williams over Caroline Wozniacki

Semifinals: Karolina Pliskova over Garbine Muguruza; Elina Svitolina over Venus Williams

Final: Karolina Pliskova over Elina Svitolina

Those are our predictions. Who do you got??

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG

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