ATP Tennis Betting: Sock and Thiem set for long battle in Miami

Round three of the 2015 Miami Open gets underway on Sunday at Crandon Park, with eight matches on the Crandon Park card for today.

Alejandro Falla ensured it was a good day of tennis betting on Saturday as my 3.0 long shot was a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 winner over favourite Ivo Karlovic, while Friday and Saturday’s ‘sure things’ were also successful.

David Ferrer had no problems at all in a 6-1, 6-1 romp over Federico Delbonis, while Fernando Verdasco recovered from a slow start to dismiss James Duckworth in the end.

But injury prevented Borna Coric from being even competitive against David Goffin, with the Croatian starlet suffering a set one bagel against an opponent who served at only 45 percent of first serves in play.

The third round commences at 16:00 UK time on Sunday and a year ago we saw a grand total of two underdog winners from 16 matches and they were only very narrow odds-against shots.

Juan Monaco vs Guillermo-Garcia Lopez

We’ve been going along well on the ‘sure things’ and today’s card doesn’t really offer any backable short priced match odds favourites that I’m keen on.

Rafa Nadal is perhaps the most likely favourite to fall into the ‘sure thing’ category, but Fernando Verdasco is dangerous and instead I like the over 19.5 total games in birthday boy Pico Monaco’s clash with GGL.

The schedulers have made this the night match in the hope of seeing a great atmosphere between the Argentine and the Spaniard and they’ll probably get it and I expect this one to be tight as a result.

This pair have had some battles over the years, with their first clash coming 10 years ago in Brazil, and Monaco has had the better of it, but on hard courts it’s been tight.

GGL came back from two sets down to beat Pico in the 2012 US Open in a final set tie break and their only other completed meeting on hard also went the distance.

In this atmosphere there’s a very good chance that Monaco will struggle to get over the line, as he regularly does and he did it again in the first round here against Ruben Bemelmans when he lost a set from *5-1 ahead.

Over 19.5 total games looks solid at 1.36 and today’s ‘sure thing’.

Jack Sock vs Dominic Thiem

This 18:00 UK time start has all the hallmarks of a three setter about it, with Sock’s level tending to wander, as does Thiem’s as one would expect for a player of his age and relative inexperience.

Both players faced less than enthusiastic opponents in the last round, with Sock finding that Fabio Fognini often can’t be bothered if he goes behind, while Thiem faced a Feli Lopez below par physically.

Conditions here in Miami do suit Thiem, with the slow court speed allowing the Austrian to use his lengthy backswings without being rushed and I feel that he has a set in him at least here against Sock, whose price looks a tad short.

Sock has looked decent since coming back to the tour at Indian Wells, but not that good that he should be a 1.48 shot in slow conditions that do not help the big servers.

The pair have never met in their careers, but Thiem has shown that he can handle big servers, with wins over Lukas Rosol, Kenny de Schepper and Jiri Vesely and tight losses to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson.

Over 2.5 sets is a 2.40 chance and that looks the wager here to me.

Gael Monfils vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

I watched Tsonga’s comeback match against Tim Smyczek yesterday and he looked fit and in decent nick considering how long he’s been away from the tour.

Today’s 20:00 clash with Monfils can’t have been an easy one to price up and Lamonf certainly looks very short considering his struggle yesterday and poor record at the Miami Open.

Monfils has only twice beaten a player ranked inside the top-50 at this tournament and only twice has he ever been past this last-32 stage of the Miami Open.

He’s never been further than the last-16 and he has a losing 1-4 record against Tsonga, so all of that combined with the usual injury concerns that Gael carries with him makes him a very shaky-looking 1.52 chance to me.

Indeed, Monfils is yet to take as much as a set from Tsonga on an outdoor hard court and although Tsonga obviously won’t be at his best just yet he has enough from what I saw yesterday to have merited a shorter price than 2.48 against his pal Monfils.

Jo says that his arm is feeling better and he didn’t wear any kind of strapping on it on Saturday, which is encouraging and he appears leaner than before and worth taking a chance on.

Best Bets
Sure thing: Back over 19.5 total games in Monaco/Garcia-Lopez at 1.36
Value bet: Back over 2.5 sets in Sock/Thiem at 2.40
Long shot: Back Tsonga to beat Monfils at 2.48