The men’s second round in the 2014 Sony Open completes on Saturday at Crandon Park, with Rafa Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych among the names in action today.
It looked like Friday would get off to a fine start when Teimuraz Gabashvili held break points to serve for the opening set against David Ferrer, but after being on the wrong end of a highly questionable line call, the Russian simply fell apart and didn’t win another game.
Adrian Mannarino was scarcely much better in a weak effort against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but Dominic Thiem did enough to land the overs against Tommy Robredo in a match that he should have taken to a deciding set.
Jerzy Janowicz 2.08 vs Roberto Bautista-Agut 1.70 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 16.05
We had success backing against Janowicz with Alejandro Falla in the last tournament at Indian Wells and this looks another very tough opening round match for the Pole.
At his best on a slick indoor or quick outdoor hard surface, the conditions in Miami tend not to favour the big servers and this looks another good opportunity to profit at JJ’s expense.
Bautista-Agut is in prime form at the moment and after a slow start he dominated the inexperienced American Steve Johnson in round one here, which should have him spot on for this encounter.
JJ hasn’t been able to get going this season and he’s becoming the kind of player who only really figures in the right conditions.
His last five events on outdoor hard have ended in losses to James Blake, Maxi Gonzalez, Alex Dolgopolov, Florian Mayer and Falla and RBA should add his name to that list today.
Conditions seem perfect for the Spaniard, who should have the measure of JJ off the ground and he has a 9-5 winning record against my list of big servers, including Tomas Berdych last week at Indian Wells.
The 1.70 about RBA looks very solid to me and the minus 1.5 games at 1.96 is tempting too.
Milos Raonic 1.25 vs Jack Sock 3.75 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 21.05
This one screams ‘overs’ to me and I’m quite surprised that the total games mark is set at 22.5 in this third career encounter between two guys who are pretty much all about the serve.
Sock is down at 57th on the 2014 return games won list, while Raonic isn’t even in the top 85, having won just 16 return games all season, although in fairness he hasn’t played many matches.
Last year’s stats show the Canadian 45th of 47 in that category though and some of his tennis off the ground last week at Indian Wells was appalling, but some of that I’ll generously put down to an injury absence in recent weeks.
Sock is a tough one to successfully predict, as he does tend to show a pretty poor attitude in a fair proportion of his matches, but he seemed to be up for it in a decent showing first up in Miami against Guido Pella.
The American has won one of his two matches against Raonic and both went well past the 22.5 total games mark, but surprisingly they’ve never played a tie break against each other in six sets so far.
This is a big serve and forehand versus another big serve and forehand and Milos seems short at 1.25 in this 21.00 UK time clash, with the best betting options being the overs at 1.78 or Sock + 1.5 sets at 1.92.
The Sam Querrey vs Nico Almagro clash that begins at around the same time also looks like one for the overs for very similar reasons, but oddly the total games is set at a higher mark in that match.
Nadal, Berdych and Wawrinka all look to have very winnable matches, with Rafa perhaps the one who may be tested the most by Lleyton Hewitt, but it's hard to see the veteran Aussie being able to challenge for longer than one set. The over 9.5 games in set one looks a decent option at 2.45 in that one, with Rafa perhaps taking a little time to adjust to the conditions and coming off a shock loss at Indian Wells.
Back Bautista-Agut to beat Janowicz at 1.70
Back over 22.5 games in Raonic/Sock at 1.78