Rafael Nadal says his return to the Miami Open brings back mostly good memories, even though he’s 0-4 in finals.
Nadal enters the event for the 11th time Saturday, when he plays his opening match against Damir Dzumhur.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion is seeded only fifth and hasn’t claimed a title since August but he has won 35 matches at Key Biscayne and is likely to hang around until next weekend
“I think I played well in my career here, no?” Nadal said Friday.
“It’s a positive tournament for me. Only negative thing is I finally never win it. But the feeling, the atmosphere here is great. I enjoy being here. The fans here are amazing with me.”
Another fan favorite, five-time champion Novak Djokovic, won his opening match by beating Briton Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3.
While Djokovic crusied Roger Federer was forced to postpone his return from knee surgery because of a stomach virus.
The Swiss ace was scheduled to play Friday for the first time in nearly two months, but he withdrew shortly before the match because of the illness.
“I feel bad for the tournament and the fans, as I have rarely ever had to withdraw at such short notice,” Federer said in a statement.
“I have not felt great for a few days, and unfortunately it got worse in the last 24 hours.”
Federer’s return will now likely be on clay next month at Monte Carlo.
He was replaced in the Miami draw by lucky loser Horacio Zeballos, who defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4.
American 18-year-old Taylor Fritz held two set points in the opening set but lost to eighth seed David Ferrer 7-6 (8-6) 6-1.
While women’s seeds struggled the men did not Feliciano Lopez the only big-name casualty on the day.
The Spaniard falling 6-4 6-4 to Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka.
He was joined on the scrapheap by Australian Sam Groth, who suffered yet another loss in what has been a poor start to 2016, this time going down to Austrian 14th seed Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-2.
Marin Cilic, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon all advanced via straight sets wins, while the young brigade also had their moments, Frenchman Lucas Pouille downing Guaillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-4 and he will face Ferrer in the round of 16.