Miami Open prediction: Rachel Stuhlmann backs resurgent bad boy for title

Alexander Zverev during a match

Social media influencer Rachel Stuhlmann has found her niche by attaching herself to the sport of tennis but she has proven no mug when it comes to her tournament predictions.

Stuhlmann backed Novak Djokovic to claim the title at the first Grand Slam of the year and she also correctly backed Carlos Alcaraz in California last week.

Those picks weren’t exactly long shots given the quality and form of both players with Alcaraz absent from Australia and Djokovic missing for the Sunshine Double.

However, in her prediction for the Miami Open, Stuhlmann has gone bold in backing one of tennis’ bad boys to make a splash at the Hard Rock Stadium.

“Between Australian Open and Indian Wells, we are two for two this year. And I am eager to make it three for three here in Miami. I am just going to go straight into it. I got [Alexander Zverev] winning this one,” she said in an Instagram Story previewing the tournament.

Stuhlmann has provided some solid reasoning for her pick as Zverev has yet to find his best level this season having only made a light return to action at the end of 2022 following a horro injury at the French Open.

She believes that the heavy balls will suit Zverev down to the ground.

“Between the humidity and the heavy ball, he does really well in these conditions and he has made it to the finals here in the past,” she said about the 2018 finalist.”

Zverev has a 50 percent win record this season but is trending upwards in terms of form having reached the semi-finals in Dubai before a tough draw saw him meet Daniil Medvedev in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells.

Despite the loss to the rampaging Russian, Zverev had cruised past Pedro Cachin and battled beyond Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in a three-setter in an encouraging run.

Zverev has a tricky opening match in prospect after Taro Daniel was afforded a walkover win against Arthur Rinderknech in the first round.

The German enjoyed a bye into the second round as one of the 32 seeded players in the Miami Open field.

Zverev reached the Miami Open final in 2018 only to lose to American serve-bot John Isner.

However, since the tournament moved to the Hard Rock Stadium in 2019 he has struggled, twice being eliminated in the second round although he did reach the last eight in 2022.

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