The hard-courts of Miami play home to this week’s ATP 1,000 tournament – and it’s hardly surprising that Novak Djokovic is a touch off odds-on to claim his fourth Miami title is five years.
The world number one beat old-foe Roger Federer, who is in great form himself, in last week’s final, and nobody else has really looked like beating the Serb recently. Federer isn’t playing this week – and it looks likely that 2009 and 2013 Miami Champion Andy Murray or four-time Miami runner-up Rafael Nadal will have to stop him. The problem is that the neither of the world’s third and fourth best players look anywhere near their best at present.
Either Murray or Nadal may reach the final though as they are in the opposite half of the draw to Djokovic, as is Tomas Berdych who is in Nadal’s quarter. That’s a worry for Nadal who was comprehensively beaten by Berdych in the Australian Open, despite having a fantastic record against him in their previous encounters.
If Murray is to reach the final he might have to beat Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals before either meeting Berdych or Nadal in the semi-finals.
Djokovic only worry in his quarter of the draw looks to be David Ferrer who he’s beat in their last seven head-to-heads, and his toughest game on his way to the final may be a semi-final clash with Kei Nishikori who has twice beaten him in their last five meetings. However, Nishikori may have had to endure a tough match against Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals; and a match against the big-hitting Canadian is hardly an ideal preparation for playing against the stamina sapping style of Djokovic.
Unless his win last week has taken the edge off him, it really is hard to see Djokovic getting beaten in a tournament he obviously targets – and he warrants the full stake.
Djokovic 10 points @ 9/10 (Betway)
Story of Indian Wells
Each-way selection Roger Federer made the final but succumbed to Novak Djokovic, whilst two of our 3 match bets won to give us a 6.8 points profit on the tournament.