Miami Open Best Bets – March 31st
The final day at the Miami Open is upon is and while one champion got crowned yesterday it is time for another to get decided on Sunday. American John Isner will take on, the Swiss, Roger Federer in the men’s final on Sunday. The women’s doubles final will also take place Sunday with a very good matchup to be played. Sam Stosur and Shuai Zhang, the defending Aussie Open champs, will take on Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens who won Indian Wells last week.
O/U 25 games played (-108/-122): Roger Federer (-421) vs John Isner (+331)
World #5, Roger Federer, will be gunning for title 101 on Sunday afternoon when he takes on defending Miami Open champ, and world #9, John Isner. Federer made easy work on his opponents this week having only dropped the first set he played this tournament. Fed easily dispatched Denis Shapovalov, in the semifinal, facing only three break points, not losing any, and breaking the Canadian three times. Federer has played in five tournaments this season, including Miami, and has lost just twice compiling a 21-2 record. His season includes a win in Dubai, a win at the Hopman Cup, a final at Indian Wells, a Round of 16 in the Aussie Open and now this final in Miami.
John Isner has done exactly what he needed to do to defend all of the points he won here last season. The big serving American has yet to drop a set this tournament and has needed a tiebreaker in nine of the 10 sets. Isner did well to fight off the fast rising Canadian teenager, Felix Auger-Aliassime, as Isner faced early breaks in both sets, but fought back to break back and win in tiebreakers. The big serving American had a rough start to the season, losing in the first round of Auckland and the Aussie Open, but has rebounded well to make the semifinals in New York, the semifinals in Delray Beach, the semifinals in Acapulco, the Round of 16 at Indian Wells and now the final of Miami. His record on the season currently stands at 15-6.
With the way Roger Federer is playing I don’t see how Isner has a shot in this one. There is no value in this pick, but Roger Federer to win is the play. The much better value is taking under 25 games played, as I think Federer will break Isner once each set and I don’t think Isner will be able to break Fed all match.
YTD Tennis Results: 24-19
Miami Open Results: 18-13
Miami Open Best Bets – March 30th
Friday was men’s semifinal day at the Miami Open and it was a relatively lack luster day. The day opened with defending champion, John Isner, taking on, one of the two young Canadian teenagers in the semifinals, Felix Auger-Aliassime. FAA got out to early breaks in both sets and seemed to be playing better, but one bad service game each set, when he was serving to win the set, ultimately cost Felix the match. Isner just keeps on doing what he does and, while it may not be exciting tennis, it has been effective for him in Miami. Isner has now won all 10 sets he’s played this tournament and all but one needed a tiebreaker to decide it.
Isner will be vying for his second consecutive Miami Open title against a guy who has won this tournament three times, Roger Federer. Fed took on another young, talented, Canadian teenager in Denis Shapovalov and easily brushed him aside winning 2-0. Federer looks unbeatable right now, so Sunday will be a difficult test for Isner.
Saturday is women’s championship day and Pliskova vs Barty is expected to be a great one. Here is my pick to win and pick for the total games played for the women’s championship.
O/U 22 games played (-121): Ash Barty (-130) vs Karolina Pliskova (even)
Karolina Pliskova faced a rain delay, and Simona Halep, Thursday night, but was able to comfortably advance to her first ever Premier Masters final. Pliskova is off to a great start this, going 21-4, and has reached at least the quarterfinal in every event she has entered. The Czech, who is currently ranked 7th, has dropped just two sets all tournament and did not drop a set in her quarterfinal or semifinal matches. Ash Barty, currently ranked 11th, is poised to make her debut into the Top 10 when the new rankings come out on Monday. Barty is off to just as good of a start, going 19-4, and reaching the quarterfinals in all but one event she has entered. The Aussie has had a similar road to the final having only dropped two sets all tournament and winning her semifinal match in easy fashion.
Barty has yet to win a tournament this year, but has won two hardcourt titles on the WTA tour in her career. Pliskova opened the season with a title winning run at Brisbane and has won at least one hardcourt tile each of the last eight years.
This should be a great battle to end the Sunshine Double and I like Pliskova at even money to win and the over 22 games played at -121.
YTD Tennis Results: 24-18
Miami Open Results: 18-12
Miami Open Best Bets – March 29th
Thursday, at the Miami Open, was par for the course as there wasn’t a huge upset and there was a rain delay that interrupted the final match of the night. Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova was the headline match of the day and Pliskova absolutely picked apart Halep. The first set was tight, with Pliskova winning 7-5, and then won 6-1 in the second set to advance. Pliskova will now take on Ash Barty who easily dispatched Anett Kontaveit Thursday afternoon. The Aussie was broken twice, once in each set, but broke the Estonian five times en route to a 6-3 6-3 win. This will be Barty’s first Premier Mandatory final and she will be looking to build off her early season of success.
In the men’s draw we saw the future, and the past and present, on display. In the first men’s quarterfinal Denis Shapovalov came back from a set down to defeat Frances Tiafoe. The Canadian teenager will advance to his second Premier semifinal and first since 2017 Montreal. Shapovalov will face the man who has won 100 career titles, Roger Federer. Fed made easy work of Kevin Anderson, winning 6-0 6-4, and appears to be on a war path after losing in the Indian Wells final. Federer lost the first set he played in Miami, against Radu Albot, but has not dropped set since. He has easily taken care of Anderson and Daniil Medvedev his last two matches and appears unbeatable at the moment.
There are only two matches on Friday, so I am going to give my best bets for who to take plus game total for both men’s semifinals.
O/U 25.5 games played (-171): John Isner (-171) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
John Isner is just two wins away from defending all of his points from him title winning campaign, in Miami, in 2018. Isner has not dropped a set this tournament, but has needed seven tiebreakers in the eight sets he has won. The big American has been serving at an unbelievable rate and it has been key to him continuing his Miami Open win streak. Felix Auger-Aliassime is one half of the Canadian teenager semifinal duo. The 18-year-old easily dispatched Borna Coric, in the quarterfinals, and has not dropped a set since the second round. FAA has also been serving at a very efficient rate which makes this matchup a very close one to call. I think big John uses his experience, and big serve, to advance to the final, but it will take at least two tiebreakers, if not three. Take John Isner at -171 and also take the over 25.5 games played at -124.
O/U 22 games played (-115): Roger Federer (-435) vs Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov looked impressive in his comeback win, against Frances Tiafoe, on Thursday, but he will be facing a much bigger task Friday night. On the other side of the net will be 100 time winner Roger Federer who looks like he is on a war path currently. Federer has won eight straight sets and has thoroughly dominated his last two opponents. You’re not getting any value, but Federer is the pick here. The better play is on under 22 games played as I am not quite sure Shapovalov has what it takes to deal with the way Federer is playing currently.
Under 22 (-115)
Miami Open Best Bets – March 28th
Wednesday was not a very exciting day in Miami as four of the five matches ended in straight sets. Roger Federer got the men’s draw started with a dominant straight set win over Daniil Medvedev. He only faced three break points, saved them all, and broke Medvedev three times to win 6-4 6-2. John Isner did what he does and beat Roberto Bautista-Agut in two tiebreakers to advance to the semifinal and get closer to defending his championship points from last year. Isner will be facing Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semis. The young Canadian advances to the biggest semifinal of his career after knocking out Borna Coric in straight sets. FAA is on quite a run in 2019 and will be looking to keep that going against Isner.
The women’s semifinal field was finalized today as Simona Halep knocked out Qiang Wang in straight sets. Halep was down 5-1 in the second set, but fought back and won the last six games to advance to the semis. Her opponent will be Karolina Pliskova who had a routine straight set win over Marketa Vondrousova. Pliskova was broken once, but broke Vondrousova three times to cruise to a solid victory.
Halep vs Pliskova. Federer vs Anderson. Kontaveit vs Barty. Shapovalov vs Tiafoe. Some big names and some young guns in action Thursday. Here are my two best bets for Thursday at the Miami Open.
Over 21 games (-122): Anett Kontaveit vs Ash Barty
The first women’s semifinal of the day pits Anett Kontaveit, currently ranked 19th, vs Ash Barty who is currently ranked 11th. Both women have had a tough draw and have really had to grind to get to this point. Kontaveit has taken out Amanda Anisimova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Bianca Andreescu and Su-Wei Hsieh so far in Miami and has need three sets in three of the four. Barty started off her campaign with two straight set victories over Dayana Yastremska and Sam Stosur, but has needed three sets in her last matches against Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova. I like over 21 games in this one as both players are playing well at the moment.
Denis Shapovalov vs Frances Tiafoe (+174)
This is a very intriguing quarterfinal matchup as both players have to be happy with the draw. Shapovalov, who reached a Masters semifinal two years ago, has had the harder road to the quarters as he’s had to come back to beat the inform Dan Evans and, one of the most exciting players on tour, Stefanos Tsitsipas. This is already a great result for the Canadian teenager as he was not able to win more than two matches in any tournament this season until this week. Tiafoe is having his best tournament since the Austrailian Open quarterfinal run and he will look to get to his biggest semifinal of his career. He looked dominant against David Goffin last round, beating him 2-0, and has really looked impressive in every set besides the first one against David Ferrer. This should be a really fun match and I like Tiafoe to advance to the semifinals.
Miami Open Best Bets – March 27th
Tuesday brought on some more of that typical South Florida weather as the rain was coming and going all day and night. We had some stoppages in the middle of the day and then a pretty lengthy one during the night matches. Besides for Federer vs Medvedev getting moved to Wednesday all other matches were completed.
The women got the first semifinal set as Anett Kontaveit fought back to knock off Su-Wei Hsieh in three sets. Kontaveit was down a double break in the third set, but broke Hsieh three out of her last four service games to advance to the semis. The nightcap had a long rain day, but Ash Barty outlasted Petra Kvitova in three sets to set up a semifinal matchup vs Kontaveit.
The men’s draw is shaping up to be wide open. Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Nikoloz Basilashvili and advances to the biggest match of his career. FAA will go on to face Borna Coric who fought back from a set down to knock off Nick Kyrgios. The upset of the day was Roberto Bautista-Agut knocking out Novak Djokovic coming back from a set down to win in three. He will not face the defending champion John Isner who had a normal day at the office in beating Kyle Edmund in two tiebreakers. Kevin Anderson brushed aside Jordan Thompson, 7-5 7-5, and will now await the winner of Medvedev/Federer. The other quarterfinal will consist of Frances Tiafoe, who knocked out David Goffin in straight sets, taking on Denis Shapovalov who has his best win on the season knocking out Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets.
There will be all quarterfinal matchups on Wednesday, so here are my three best bets.
Roberto Bautista-Agut vs John Isner (+110)
John Isner produced a solid win, over Kyle Edmund, winning in two tiebreakers on Tuesday. The big serving American has a lot of points to defend this week, being that he is the defending champion, and this run will do him will in the ranking. Isner has yet to drop a set in Miami and has to be thrilled to avoid the #1 seed Novak Djokovic in the quarters. He will not be playing Djokovic because Roberto Bautista-Agut had one heck of a comeback win to win in three sets. The Spaniard is in the fantastic form, going 14-3 with a title at Doha, but I like Isner to continue his great form in Miami.
Karolina Pliskova (-139) vs Marketa Vondrousova
19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova cruises into the quarterfinals of the Miami Open having not yet dropped a set this week. This is her second consecutive quarterfinal, having lost to Svitolina at this stage at Indian Wells, and will look to advance to the biggest semifinal of her career. Vondrousova will have to go through her fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova to get to the semifinal. Pliskova has had a much more difficult road to the quarterfinals as she has needed three sets to outlast her previous two opponents. Pliskova has had a very successful season and I think she continues that form on Wednesday, so back Pliskova on Wednesday.
Borna Coric (-175) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Borna Coric really needed this week, for his confidence, as he has had a really poor start to 2019. His three wins this week give him a record of 9-4 in 2019 and his win on Tuesday against Nick Kyrgios was his most notable win of the season by far. His opponent on Wednesday, Felix Auger-Aliassime, is certainly not lacking in confidence as he has had a breakout season so far in 2019. Having compiled an 18-8 record so far this season FAA has now reached the biggest quarterfinal of his very young career. I love FAA, but Coric gets it done on Wednesday and advances to the semifinal.
Miami Open Best Bets – March 26th
Monday proved to be a day where some big names, particularly in the women’s draw, were eliminated from the Miami Open draw. On the men’s side, the opening match of the day saw proved to be the biggest upset as Jordan Thompson, who went off at +200, knocked off Grigor Dmitrov. Roger Federer, Kevin Anderson, David Goffin, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov all comfortably advanced to the Round of 16. Daniil Medvedev needed three tiebreakers, but he was able to knock off the big serving American Reilly Opelka and Frances Tiafoe needed three sets, but he was able to get past David Ferrer. Tiafoe’s win was the only other upset, beside for Thompson, as he went off at +100.
On the women’s side we saw Ash Barty knock out Kiki Bertens, in the opening match of the day, and Petra Kvitova easily handle Caroline Garcia. The big surprise of the day was Anett Kontaveit knocking out Bianca Andreescu. Kontaveit cruised in winning the first set and then Andreescu retired down 2-0 in the second set. Su-Wei Hsieh fought off Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep easily dispatched Venus Williams as both women advanced to the quarters. Qiang Wang knocked out countrywoman Yafan Wang, in straight sets and Karolina Pliskova fought off Yulia Putintseva.
Tuesday will kick off the women’s quarterfinals, and men’s Round of 16, so there is still plenty of action going on down in Miami. Here are my three best bets on what is sure to be an exciting day of tennis.
Kyle Edmund (-111) vs John Isner
Kyle Edmund has won eight of his last nine matches, which includes a championship at the Indian Wells Challenger, and has looked dominant in his first two matches in Miami. Edmund knocked out the big serving Canadian, Milos Raonic, in straight sets his last match and will not be preparing for another big server. John Isner, the defending Miami Open champion, will look to continue his winning streak in this tournament after comfortably advancing through his first two opponents. I like Kyle Edmund to advance to the quarters and end Isner’s run as champion.
Nick Kyrgios vs Borna Coric (+137)
Nick Kyrgios, tennis’ biggest showman, has rolled through his first two opponents and put on a show in his last match against Dusan Lajovic. In the Lajovic match, in which Kyrgios easily won, we saw two underhand serves, one which was an ace, an unneeded between the leg shots and an argument with a fan in the first row. The whole Nick Kyrgios experience in one match. With all the showmanship is the undeniable talent, and inconsistency, from the Aussie that frustrates fans and opponents. Borna Coric has looked really shaky in Miami, and all year for that matter, but he is just one win away from the quarters in the Premier Mandatory event. I think we get the inconsistent Kyrgios on Tuesday and Coric advances to get to the quarterfinals.
Anett Kontaveit (-125) vs Su-Wei Hsieh
Kontaveit looked dominant in her win over Bianca Andreescu Monday. The Estonian was cruising to a straight set win before Andreescu was forced to retire. Either way it was an impressive performance from Kontaveit. Su-Wei Hsieh has been in great form lately and is now onto her Premier Mandatory quarterfinal debut. Hsieh has taken out some big games in Miami having beaten Caroline Wozniacki in the Round of 16 and Naomi Osaka in the third round. Both took three sets and she has been on the court for more than four and a half hours the last two matches. Seeing Kontaveit’s performance yesterday I would back the Estonian to advance to the semifinals.
Miami Open Best Bets – March 25th
The Miami Open has moved into the second week and there are plenty of big names still standing in both draws. On Sunday Tatjana Maria, who went off at +250, knocked out the 4th seed Sloane Stephens in straight sets. Yulia Putintseva provided the other upset of the day, going off at +162, knocked off the 11th seed Anastasija Sevastova. The other big story was Serena Williams withdrawing with a knee injury, on Saturday, which allowed Qiang Wang to advance with a walkover on Sunday.
The men’s side was a bit more eventful as there were three upsets on the day with the biggest name going out being Milos Raonic. The big Canadian was eliminated, in straight sets, by a resurgent Kyle Edmund. Borna Coric also saw his Miami Open campaign come to an end when Jeremy Chardy, who was +162, knocked him out in three sets. Another notable result was Felix Auger-Aliassime, winning the battle of two in form youngsters, dedeating Hubert Hurkacz.
Barty vs Bertens. Venus vs Halep. Andreescu. Wozniacki. Fed. Tsitsipas. It’s going to be a fun Monday in Miami.
Bianca Andreescu vs Anett Kontaveit (+175)
Bianca Andreescu just cannot lose a match these days as she has now won 20 of 21 matches and is on a current 10 match winning streak. After beating Angie Kerber, for the second time in a week, Andreescu moves on to the Miami Open fourth round to face Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian is off to an average start this season, having gone 12-6 to start the season, and will look to knock off the hottest woman on tour, both men’s and women’s, on Monday. I am not sure why I would go against Andreescu right now, but I am, so I am backing Kontaveit to end the phenomenal Andreescu run on Monday.
Kevin Anderson (-189) vs Joao Sousa
Kevin Anderson returned from an elbow injury and defeated Jaume Munar in three sets. This was the big serving South Africans first match since losing to Frances Tiafoe in the Austrailian Open. Joao Sousa, who has had a rough start to the season, defeated Steve Johnson, who is also in poor form, to advance to the third round in Miami. Sousa leads the H2H 1-0, but the two have never played on the hardcourts. I expect Kevin Anderson to even up the H2H record Monday.
Denis Shapovalov (-189) vs Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev took advantage of an out of form Marin Cilic to pick up a big win and advance to the third Round of the Miami Open. He will look to continue his good form in Miami when he takes on one of the many talented Canadian teenagers Denis Shapovalov. The young Canadian advanced to the fourth round of Indian Wells and will look to equal that with a win on Monday. I think Shapovalov gets the win and advances to the Round of 16 in Miami.
Miami Open Best Bets – March 23rd
Another busy day of tennis took place in Miami, on Friday, and we saw understaffed courts and some pretty big upsets. On the men’s side defending Indian Wells Champ, Dominic Thiem, fell in straight sets to the talented Pole Huey Hurkacz. Veteran Serb, Dusan Lajovic, who went off at +350, knocked out Kei Nishikori in three sets. Defending champ John Isner cruised to a straight set win over Lorenzo Sonego and Kyle Edmund got off to a nice start defeating Ilya Ivashka in straight sets.
On the women’s side there were 26 matches and 10 upsets, so a very eventful day. The biggest upset of the day was Yulia Putintseva, who was +300, defeating the 23rd seed Belinda Bencic in straight sets. Ajla Tomljanovic, who went off at +250, knocked off the 9th seed Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets and Yafan Wang, at +250, knocked out the 6th seed Elina Svitolina. Some big names prevailed, but were pushed, as Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber all needed three sets to advance.
On Saturday the women will start the Round of 32 with matches featuring Osaka, Petra Kvitova, Ash Barty and a rematch of the Indian Wells Finals between Bianca Andreescu and Angie Kerber. The men still have a lot of tennis to play and Saturday will be the start of the tournament for Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alex Zverev and Frances Tiafoe.
A lot of matches still going on, at the Miami Dolphins facility, which means plenty of action to find on Saturday.
Grigor Dmitrov (-200) vs Feliciano Lopez
Grigor Dmitrov will play in his first match since losing in the round of 16 at the Austrailain Open back on January 19th. The top ranked Bulgarian has been dealing with a sore right shoulder and has played just seven matches this season going 5-2. Veteran Feliciano Lopez was able to overcome, the most frustrating man in tennis, Benoit Paire in three sets to get his third win of the season. Lopez has not be in good form in the last five years as he has a poor 23-24 record last to go with a 26-25 record the season before. Dmitrov edges the H2H series 4-2 with three of his wins coming on hardcourts and both losses on grass. I expect Grigor Dmitrov to maintain his perfect H2H record on the hardcourts.
Frances Tiafoe (-152) vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Frances Tiafoe started the season with a surprising quarterfinal run in the Austrailain Open, but has since won just one match out of his last five. One of those losses was to #134 Jason Jung in New York. It’s a disappointing follow up to his Aussie Open run, but there is no denying the talent of Tiafoe. Another rising talent is Miomir Kecmanovic who is currently in the form of his life. Kecmanovic advanced to the quarterfinals of Indian Wells, last week, and opened up Miami with a straight set win over Ernests Gulbis. These two played in January 2018 where Kecmanovic came away with a 2-1 victory in New York. Tiafoe evens up the H2H series Saturday.
Kiki Bertens vs Viktoria Kuzmova (+240)
Viktoria Kuzmova opened up her Miami Open campaign with a straight set victory over Daria Gavrilova. Kuzmova has a surprising opening round defeat, at Indian Wells, put prior to that had a quarterfinal run in Dubai. During her run to the quarters, in Dubai, she upset Kiki Bertens in the second round. Bertens has had a good start to the season, having gone 13-6 with a title, and has cleared her opening match in every tournament besides Dubai when Kuzmova upset her. The talented Slovak increases her H2H record to 2-0 over Bertens with another victory on Saturday.
Miami Open Best Bets – March 22nd
There was finally a full day of tennis played at Hard Rock Stadium as 54 matches were played on Thursday in the Miami Open. In the men’s draw we saw mostly chalk as there were only seven upsets with the biggest upset coming from Pablo Andujar-Alba, at +275, knocking out Ivo Karlovic. It was much of the same in the women’s draw as there were only six upsets. However, we did see some big names go down as Madison Keys was knocked out by Sam Stosur, who went off at +300, and Victoria Azarenka was defeated by Caroline Garcia who was +137.
The big names make their debut on Friday as Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, defending champion John Isner, Novak Djokovic and Indian Wells champ Dominic Thiem are all in action for the men. In the women’s draw Arnya Sabalenka, Naomi Osaka, Jelena Ostapenko, Bianca Andreescu, Angie Kerber, the William’s sisters, Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina are all in action. It is going to be a great day of tennis, so let’s hope the weather cooperates.
41 matches on deck and plenty of action to get in on, so here are my three best bets for Friday at the Miami Open.
Gilles Simon (-139) vs Jeremy Chardy
Jeremy Chardy won the battle of two struggling guys on tour beating Nicolas Jarry 2-1 in the first round. It was Chardy’s first win, in six matches, since February 6th. Gilles Simon is 9-7 this season, but had an early exit in Indian Wells falling to eventual champion Dominic Thiem. Prior to Indian Wells Simon posted a quarterfinal appearance in his home country. Simon holds a 4-1 H2H record and is 2-1 on hardcourts. I expect him to take extend the H2H to 5-1, so back Simon to win on Friday.
John Millman (-189) vs Federico Delbonis
John Millman is off to an average start this season, as he is just 9-8, but he has to feel lucky with his first matchup of the tournament. Federico Delbonis is a clay court specialist who has only won more than five matches in a year, on a hardcourt, twice since 2009. Millman should cruise to a win in this one, so take John Millman to advance in this one.
Bianca Andreescu vs Sofia Kenin (+115)
In a rematch of the Acapulco semifinals, a few weeks back, two young, promising players will take battle on Friday. Bianca Andreescu, the 18-year-old Canadian, has been the talk of the town after winning her first title at Indian Wells last week. The Canadian is on quite a run this season having gone 29-3 in the first three months. That is a lot of tennis, but the youngster has been pushing through all of the ailments and fatigue. Currently on an eight match win streak, Andreescu will now face off against the last opponent to beat her, Sofia Kenin. The young American is also off to a nice start having won her maiden WTA tour title, at Hobart, and going 14-6. Kenin is a grinder and I think the fatigue will finally catch up to Andreescu in this one, so take Kenin plus the points.
YTD Tennis Results: 12-10
Miami Open Results: 6-4 (one play from Tuesday)
Miami Open Best Bets – March 21st
It looks like the rain is not going to cooperate, in Miami, so there is going to be a lot of tennis played over the next few days. Qualifying finally concluded yesterday and on the men’s side Felix Auger Aliassime, Radu Albot and Reilly Opelka all successfully qualified for the main draw, but one big time player did not. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who should have received a wildcard, was upset by Pablo Cuevas knocked out the Frenchman. In main draw action there was a big upset in the first round when Guido Andreozzi, who went off at +333, defeated Mikhail Kukushkin who was -500. Overall five underdogs won on in the first round on Wednesday.
The women’s side also completed qualifying and started the first round. Victoria Azarenka, Amanda Anisimova and Dayana Yastremska all advanced to the second round. The big upset on the day was Magdalena Rybarikova, who went off at +250, knocked off Natalia Vikhlyantseva 2-1.
There is going to be a lot of tennis on Thursday, and a lot of big names will play their first match, so there is plenty of plays out there. Here are my three best bets for Thursday at the Miami Open.
Jeremy Chardy vs Nicolas Jarry (+137)
The veteran Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, has not won a match since February 6th and has only won two sets during his five match losing streak. He has made a terrible start to the season going 6-8 with three of those wins coming in his opening tournament this season. Speaking of bad starts this season, Nicolas Jarry, is off to a 6-8 start overall and 5-5 on hardcourt. These two are also playing each other in doubles in the opening round, but for this first round match take Nicolas Jarry and the plus points.
Benoit Paire (-111) vs Feliciano Lopez
Speaking of struggling players, I give to you Benoit Paire vs Feliciano Lopez. Paire, the Frenchman, is probably the most frustrating player on tour given it looks like he never tries, or cares, out on the court, but the talent is undeniable when he is into it. Paire is off to a 6-9 start this season and is currently on a three match losing streak. On the other end of the net is the Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez. He has played just five matches this whole season winning two of them. In Indian Wells he was able to upset Tomas Berdych and gave Karen Khachanov a little scare. Even with the little bit of positive play, I like Benoit Paire to pull this one out.
Daria Gavrilova vs Viktoria Kuzmova (+110)
Daria Gavrilova started her season 0-7, but gained some confidence, in Indian Wells, beating Dayana Yastremska and Mihaela Buzarnescu to advance to the third round. She will be looking to build off that momentum and get closer to .500 on the season – she currently stands at 2-7 in 2019. Viktoria Kuzmova is another young woman on tour who looks like she is close to taking the next step. She bowed out in the first round of Indian Wells, but advanced to the quarters of Dubai her tournament before that. With a record of 9-6 this season, Kuzmova is in much better form, and I expect Kuzmova to win, and bag her 10th win of the season.
YTD Tennis Results: 10-7
Miami Open Results: 4-1 (one play from Tuesday and two from Wednesday still outstanding from rain)
Miami Open Best Bets – March 20th
Well, the first official day of the Miami Open got some of that Miami weather and was a wash. All 36 matches from Tuesday will now be played Wednesday. In men’s qualifying the likes of Radu Albot, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Reilly Opelka look to punch their tickets to the main draw on this Masters 1000 event. The men’s main draw will also get started with matches featuring Taylor Fritz and Tomas Berdych.
The women will get the first round started with Indian Wells champ, and new world #24, Bianca Andreescu getting back on the court. We will also see Victoria Azarenka, the exciting Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska and the inconsistent Aussie Ajla Tomlijanovic.
With 55 matches set to take place there is plenty of action to play and below are my three best bets for Wednesday. In addition to the below three bets do not forget to take a look at Tuesday’s best bets as those matches will also be playing today. Six plays in total for Wednesday.
Taylor Fritz (-189) vs Maximilian Marterer
Neither of these guys are in the best of form, at the moment, so this a great opportunity for one of them to turn it around. Fritz won the Newport Beach Challenger, at the end of January, and has lost three matches in a row since. The 21-year-old American is currently 9-5 with five of those wins coming in that Challenger championship run. Marterer is 8-8 on the season, but 7-4 on hardcourts and has lost four out of his last six matches. I like Taylor Fritz to end his three match losing streak, so take Fritz as the slight favorite.
Alison Van Uytvanck vs Ons Jabeur (Even)
Alison Van Uytvanck won the title in Budapest and then fell in the second round of Indian Wells to eventual semifinalist Belinda Bencic. She is currently 8-6 this season with five of those wins coming during that championship run in Budapest a few weeks back. Ons Jabeur, on the other hand, has lost four of five and is just 5-7 to start the season. This is just a gut feeling, but I think Jabeur breaks out of her funk in this one, so take Jabeur at even money.
Beatriz Haddad Maia (-189) vs Taylor Townsend
Haddad Maia made it to the quarterfinals of Acapulco and decided to sit out Indian Wells the following week, but with a win in the first qualifying match she now has won six out of her last seven matches. Taylor Townsend lost in the final qualifying round, at Indian Wells, but made it into the main draw as a lucky loser where she fell in the first round. Townsend is not in the best of form having lost three out of her last five matches and I expect this form to continue Wednesday. Take Haddad Maia as the slight favorite.
YTD Tennis Results: 8-6
Miami Open Results: 2-0
Miami Open Best Bets – March 19th
The first round of the Miami Open gets underway, for the women, on Tuesday and there are also final qualifying matches taking place for both draws. It will be a busy day on the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium with 36 matches in total taking place. In men’s qualifying the likes of Radu Albot, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Reilly Opelka look to punch their tickets to the main draw on this Masters 1000 event.
The women will get the first round started with matches featuring the exciting Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska and the inconsistent Aussie Ajla Tomlijanovic.
With 36 matches set to take place there is plenty of action to play and below are my three best bets for Tuesday.
Dayana Yastremska (-189) vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
I mentioned this above, but the 18-year-old Yastremska has had a very nice start to the season having gone 12-5 with a title winning run in Hua Hin at the beginning of February. Up until this two game blip, where she’s lost in the first round in Dubai and Indian Wells, the youngster was on a seven match win streak and has won nine of 10. Alexandrova has also gotten off to a real nice start this season, having gone 13-6, with wins over Caroline Wozniacki Jo Konta. She recently made a third round run in Indian Wells falling to eventual semifinalist Belinda Bencic. I would take Yastremska to win this matchup and then put up a fight against the 12th seed Ash Barty in the second round.
Yafan Wang (-175) vs Kristina Mladenovic
Wang entered Indian Wells off a title winning run at Acapulco the week before. In her maiden WTA tour final she defeated American Sofia Kenin in three tough sets. However, she had an unlucky draw as she drew Kenin in the first round of Indian Wells and Wang, this time, fell in three tough sets. It is tough to beat anyone in back-to-back matches, so I would not put too much stock into the first round defeat as the 24-year-old is off to an 11-4 start this season. Mladenovic, on the other hand, has made a real poor start the season going just 3-7 and not getting her first win until February. However, the Frenchwoman can take some solace in that two of her wins have come against world #1 Naomi Osaka and #39 Saisai Zheng. I expect Wang to win this one easily, so back the world #50 with confidence.
Noah Rubin vs Mikael Ymer (-125)
The 20-year-old Swede, Mikael Ymer, thoroughly dominated Ryan Harrison, in the first qualifying round Monday and will now take on another American. Noah Rubin easily dispatched clay court specialist Huge Dellien to move within one win from entering the main draw in Miami. Rubin is off to a fine start this season, having gone 9-7, and has three career hardcourt titles on the Challenger series. Ymer is off to a slightly better start having gone 10-4 and winning his maiden Challenger title at Noumea defeating none other than Noah Rubin in the final. This matchup pits the last two winners of the Noumea Challenger event. Ymer holds a 2-0 H2H record and I expect Ymer to take care of business and get into the Miami Open main draw.
YTD Tennis Results: 8-6
Miami Open Results: 2-0
Miami Open Qualifying Best Bets – March 18th
The Sunshine Swing is in full affect, as the Indian Wells finals just ended Sunday night, but there is no time for rest as another Masters 1000 tournament gets started Monday. We saw two very surprising results in California as the women saw a new superstar emerge while the men found another major threat over the two weeks. 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu won the women’s title in route to her first WTA title. The young Canadian has seen her ranking climb from 152, at the end of 2018, to the top 30 in just over three months. A very meteoric rise and we seem to be entering the Golden Era for Canadian tennis. On the men’s side we saw Dominic Thiem, who had four wins all season entering this tournament, really outplay Roger Federer in the final for the first hardcourt title of his career.
Now that Indian Wells is over, the best players in the world travel to Miami for the next Masters 1000 tournament. Qualifying gets underway on Monday and main draw matches being on Tuesday. Once again Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic will be the #1 seeds in the draw and Djokovic, specifically, will be a big favorite to win after his early departure at Indian Wells.
Below are two picks for the first day of qualifying.
Hugo Dellien vs Noah Rubin
Huge Dellien is coming off a title winning campaign at a Challenger even in Chile, but that was on clay. Dellien on the hard court is a much different story though. Since turning pro, in 2011, he has only played 13 matches total, on hardcourts, and has only won twice. The Bolivian has not won a hardcourt match since 2015. Noah Rubin, on the other hand, has won three hardcourt Challenger events and has a total of 97 wins on this surface since turning pro in 2012. Take Rubin at -278, ranked 153rd, with confidence to knock out the 8th ranked seed, and 87th ranked player overall, in qualifying.
Lin Zhu vs Kateryna Kozlova
There is an interesting first qualifying round matchup between Lin Zhu, who is ranked 95th overall and 16th in the qualifying draw, and Kateryna Kozlova who is currently ranked 114th in the world. The Ukrainian won two matches at Indian Wells, including an upset of the 11th seed Aliaksandra Sansovich, and played the 2nd seed Simona Halep tough. After successfully qualifying, and winning two matches, Kozlova now holds a 10-10 record this season. Zhu also successfully made it through the qualifying stages at Indian Wells, but fell in three sets to Mona Barthel in the first round. Lin Zhu currently sits at 12-6 on the season and has successfully qualified in every tournament she’s attempted to get into. However, even with that knowledge, I like Kateryna Kozlova at -189 to beat Zhu and advance to the final qualifying stage in Miami.
YTD Tennis Results: 6-6