ATP Miami: Home comforts could be the ideal tonic for Nishikori

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A stunning 18/1 winner for Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) last week. He’s back to look at this week’s Miami event.

ATP Miami Open | 20th – 2nd April 2017

Miami follows on quickly from a successful Indian Wells for WeLoveBetting backers, where 18/1 shot Jack Sock made the semi-finals to land our Quarter winner bet.

Roger Federer continued his unlikely renaissance by lifting a second title of the season, and the Swiss maestro will be pleased to hear that the ATP tour’s top 2 players have sent their apologies.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have won all but one of the past ten editions of this event, but elbow injuries have stopped them from playing this week.

Traditionally this is not a successful event for the resurgent Federer as his last victory was over 10 years ago, whilst the other member of the Big 4 Rafael Nadal has never won in Florida and has only intermittently featured in the latter stages.

Opportunity knocks in slower playing conditions than the majority of elite level hard court tournaments. Using my quarter by quarter approach, what are the good betting opportunities this week?

Quarter 1

Stan Wawrinka is the immediate beneficiary of Djokovic and Murray’s no-show by claiming the number one seeding in Miami. Despite showing no previous indications of liking for the event, as is very often the case with Wawrinka at top level tournaments, the Swiss made the final at Indian Wells only to be denied by his compatriot Roger Federer.

It is hard to ever trust the form of Wawrinka, who typically blows very hot or very cold. In Miami the best result on his record is a couple of fourth round showings, and throughout his career he has more defeats than victories on his record.

Whilst this scenario is very typical for The Stanimal, and it wouldn’t surprise to see him suddenly produce a result in Florida, I believe there are more trustworthy options to support.

One such option is Australian Nick Kyrgios, who is showing signs of significant improvement and was only halted last week by food poisoning. Last year he made the semi final and he won’t be daunted by his draw.

David Goffin disappointed WeLoveBetting backers by failing to take advantage of Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s predicted struggles, and having flopped last week against clay court loving Pablo Cuevas I don’t trust him to repeat 2016’s semi-final. I’m backing Kyrgios to win Quarter 1 at 3/1 with Bet Victor

Quarter 2

Roger Federer has signalled that he might not be at his best this coming week. The Swiss indicated that he is in need of recovery time, and given the heavy physical demands it is improbable that the 35 year old can win Indian Wells and Miami back-to- back.

Federer’s draw isn’t the easiest as in the early rounds he may have to defeat Juan Martin del Potro, Acapulco winner Sam Querrey or Chennai champion Roberto Bautista Agut.

However, it is the second highest seed in the quarter, Dominic Thiem, that I believe is best placed to advantage of Federer’s likely weakened state. The Austrian has won his last two against Federer and should enjoy conditions that have been described as being favourable to clay courters, of which Thiem is one of the very best.

Thiem made the quarters of Indian Wells despite some very ambitious scheduling, and perhaps a deep run here will allay some criticism of his calendar engagements.

Thiem’s draw isn’t so bad with Paolo Lorenzi a very vulnerable first seeded opponent, Tomas Berdych displaying a more and more obvious decline, before what will likely be a fatigued Federer.

Although there are a couple of jokers in the pack such as Borna Coric or Juan Martin del Potro, I’m siding with Thiem to win Quarter 2 at 9/2 with Bet Victor

Quarter 3

My tip to leave Indian Wells as champion, Rafael Nadal, was overwhelmed by Roger Federer in the fourth round and even before that his performances in the earlier rounds suggested the Mallorcan to be a mistaken investment. Whilst Nadal is notching up wins, his Australian Open final appearance is masking some rather evident frailties on hard courts.

Unfortunately for Rafa there are plenty of players in his quarter that could foreseeably take advantage, including my favourite player at the moment, 18/1 winner Jack Sock.

However, this week I am not endorsing the American. Instead, there is value in Grigor Dimitrov or Milos Raonic to take this quarter, and I favour the former.

Raonic has not been seen on court since withdrawing before the Delray Beach final and announced at the weekend that he returned to court only to hit lightly.

Dimitrov on the other hand is on something of a hot streak at the moment and should have beaten Sock at Indian Wells. He has had some difficult draws throughout the years in Miami, and with his boosted recent performances the Bulgarian is primed to take advantage if he can maintain his recent level in conditions that fit well with his game in theory. Back Dimitrov to win Quarter 3 at 9/2 with Bet Victor

Quarter 4

Beyond Stan Wawrinka, the man who benefits most from the plight of the ATP tour’s two premier players is Kei Nishikori. The Japanese made the final last year and calls Miami home, having trained in his youth at the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton. Nishikori even tweeted that he was looking forward to sleep in his own bed.

Last season he made two 1000 level finals and should be there or thereabout this week armed with a strong Miami record and a friendly draw.

It is hard to see Nishikori falling before the semi final stage. The second highest seed is Marin Cilic, but he traditionally lacks form in this part of the season and his Miami record does not suggest he will bounce back this week.

Verdasco might be dangerous but Nishikori should have his number. Nishikori is my Outright selection this week, and can be backed at 15/2 with Coral.

Best Bets

ATP Miami Open – Kei Nishikori to win Miami Open (15/2 Coral)

ATP Miami Open – Nick Kyrgios to win Quarter 1 (3/1 BetVictor)

ATP Miami Open – Dominic Thiem to win Quarter 2 (9/2 BetVictor)

ATP Miami Open – Grigor Dimitrov to win Quarter 3 (9/2 BetVictor)

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