Tennis - Miami Masters Preview
The second ATP Masters 1000 Series of the season at Miami gets underway this afternoon and top seed and defending champion Roger Federer lines up for a shot at winning a fourth Miami title, Indian Wells winner and fifth seed Del Potro will aim to emulate Federer’s remarkable feat of 2017 winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back and six-time winner Djokovic continues his comeback from injury and will hope to improve on his best performances this year.
The top two seeds have performed quite well at Miami over the last decade and the top seed won three of the last ten titles (last Djokovic 2016) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Nadal 2014). The second seed has also won three of the last ten titles (last Djokovic 2014) and they were a losing finalist once during this period (Nadal 2008). Seeded players in general have dominated the tournament over the last decade and a player seeded no higher than six has won the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than sixteen was a losing finalist the last ten finals.
From a betting perspective the statistics for the last ten years suggest a player seeded no higher than six has the best chance of winning the title this week. Federer will be popular amongst his army of fans again this week and apart from a tough semi-final and final at Indian Wells last week, he made light work of the rest of the draw and it’s likely he will reach the latter stages again this week. Del Potro is capable of winning back-to-back Master’s titles, but he does not appeal at half the odds of last week.
Second seed Cilic (20/1) looks overpriced and I expect him to improve from last week when he lost at the third-round stage against veteran Kohlschreiber. He’s got the pedigree to challenge for the title this week having won the US Open, he reached the Australian Open final this year and he’s won a Master’s 1000 Series in the USA at Cincinnati back in 2016. If he can produce that level of form over the next week and a half, he should be able to mount a serious challenge for the title. Seventh seed Goffin (33/1) looks over priced as well this week and he has form at Miami having reached the semi-finals back in 2016. He won his first ATP 500 tournament at Tokyo last season on hard courts and has solid form at Masters Series level having won 70% of his matches overall. If he can perform near his best over the next week and a half, he has every chance of challenging for the title this week and reaching his first Masters 1000 Series final.
I’ll also highlight a couple of Quarter winner selections that I believe have a good chance of winning their respective Quarters. Coric (14/1) is seeded 29 this week and he resides in the Second Quarter of the draw. He is a potential future top-star of the game and he proved this at Indian Wells last week where he came within a whisker of beating Federer and reaching his first Masters 1000 Series final. If he can continue that level of form over the next week and a half there’s no reason why he can’t repeat his Indian Wells result and win the Second Quarter. Raonic (15/2), who is seeded twenty this week, resides in the Third Quarter of the draw, his form at Indian Wells last week suggests he’s over the worse of his injury troubles and he’s starting to return to his best again, which should make him a lively challenger for winning the Third Quarter.
From a first round match betting perspective there’s a few matches I like that will hopefully return a profit. Simon is worth opposing against fellow veteran Ebden as the Aussie leads the head-to-head 1-0, Karlovic is worth opposing against Pospisil who leads the head-to-head 3-1 and Lajovic is worth opposing against veteran Zeballos who leads the head-to-head 1-0.