The final eight matches in the third round of the men’s singles at the 2015 Miami Open are in-play on Monday in Key Biscayne, with world number one Novak Djokovic among those in action today.
One of my three wagers on Sunday was successful, with Juan Monaco and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ensuring another ‘sure thing’ winner by going over the 19.5 total games mark and Pico helped by trying to choke in the opening set.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga should have sent his match with Gael Monfils to a decider, but missed a very makeable forehands on one of his two set points and ended up losing a tight one in which one point separated the French pair overall.
I said yesterday that Jack Sock was too short against Dominic Thiem, but in hindsight I chose the wrong wager in the three sets wager, as the Austrian produced a fine performance to win it on two on what was a very tough day for the players due to the strong winds.
It’s forecast to be a better day in terms of conditions on Monday, with temperatures hovering around the 25C mark and 40 percent humidity combined with less wind.
Lukas Rosol vs David Ferrer
I really like the chances of Ferrer inflicting a heavy defeat upon Rosol in this one in conditions where it will be very tough indeed for the Czech to get enough balls past the defence of the Spaniard.
Ferrer has beaten Rosol in all three of their previous meetings and dished out sets of 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 and the tightest one was 6-4, although he did lose a set 2-6 in Bercy at the end of 2013.
Rosol can catch fire and be unplayable for a short period as Ferrer’s fellow countryman Rafa Nadal knows only too well, but Ferrer looks as good as ever this season and I find it hard to see how Rosol can inflict more than very minor damage on the world number seven.
The pair are yet to see a tie break feature in any of their career meetings and 1.35 about that continuing here in these slow conditions is my ‘sure thing’ for Monday.
I also like the -5.5 games on Ferrer here, but at a tournament set up not to favour the servers there were only 12 tie breaks in 79 sets in round two this week and 1.35 looks value about no breakers here.
Grigor Dimitrov vs John Isner
As was the case with Ivo Karlovic the Miami Open has not been the best of tournaments for Isner, who tends to perform far better in more helpful conditions at Indian Wells than here in Key Biscayne.
The contrast between Isner’s results at Indian Wells and Miami is stark, with a 69 percent winning mark in the desert compared with just 53 percent here at Crandon Park.
There are plenty of reasons for that – not least the high bounce and fast through the air conditions in California as opposed to the lower bounce and much higher humidity here and for me Dimitrov should be winning this first career clash with Isner.
Neither player has enjoyed much success in 2015 compared with previous seasons, with only two quarter finals between the pair so far this campaign.
Dimitrov has had success against big servers, with wins over Karlovic, Milos Raonic, Rosol, Kevin Anderson, Tomas Berdych, Gilles Muller, Sam Querrey and Jack Sock and he holds an 8-5 winning record over the big servers on my list.
It may take a little time for the Bulgarian to find his feet in this match, but I expect him to be well on top by the end and the -1.5 games on Dimitrov at 1.89 looks the bet here.
When Isner loses in Miami it tends not to be close and all seven of his Crandon Park defeats have come by at least four games in total.
Isner’s tie break record, which has been stellar in the past, has also dipped of late, with only a 5-8 record so far in 2015 and 59 percent over the last 52 weeks.
Dimitrov’s record is better, with 64 percent over the last 52 weeks and 5-2 so far in 2015.
Gilles Simon vs Alejandro Falla
We’ve done very well with Falla so far this tournament with wins on the Colombian as underdog against Michael Berrer and Ivo Karlovic, but today he faces a totally different kind of challenge against Simon.
It’s one that he has had success with in the past though, most notably in their last career meeting when Falla ran out a 6-1, 6-0 winner on medium/slow indoor hard in Valencia back in 2013.
Valencia is one tournament where it makes sense to ignore Gillou’s form though, as it takes place just before the Paris Masters and the Frenchman hasn’t won a completed match in Valencia in his last half a dozen matches there.
Simon should be winning this one in slow conditions that make it tough for opponents to break him down, but he rarely makes things easy for himself and could have lost in round two here against Mikhail Kukushkin.
He too often gets dragged into deciders, even if he’s well on top, and a 2-1 bet at 4.0 on Simon taking this in the decider looks decent.
Falla gets a lot of support here as a South American and he won’t fold easily at this tournament, which may well be enough to take Simon into a final set.
Sure thing: Back no tie breaks in Ferrer/Rosol at 1.35
Value bet: Back Dimitrov –1.5 games to beat Isner at 1.89
Long shot: Back Simon to beat Falla 2-1 at 4.0