Djokovic to overcome tough Ferrer test

Mardy Fish and Juan Monaco have a chance of making a shock semi-final appearance in Miami as they meet in a surprising last eight clash. The winner will (probably) face the dubious pleasure of meeting Novak Djokovic for a place in the final. Djokovic is the favourite to win the tournament at 1.87.

Mardy Fish and Juan Monaco will be meeting for the fifth time in their careers. The head-to-head series is all tied up at two each, including 1-1 on hard courts. Fish is the favourite at 1.53, with Monaco at 2.45.

Monaco enjoyed some success towards the end of 2011 on indoor hard courts and has carried over the momentum into this season. The 21st-ranked Argentine is 11-4 for the year.

Fish has had a slow start to the season, but he seems to be warming up in Miami. The key for Fish will be his first serve, as Monaco has proved ruthless from the baseline during this tournament. If Fish’s serve fails to hold up, then Monaco could progress and we fancy him to win 2-1, which can be backed at 5.00.

Whoever wins will expect to stand opposite Novak Djokovic in the semi. The Serb doesn’t have an easy quarter-final tie though, as he meets the number five seed David Ferrer. Djokovic can be backed at 1.22, with Ferrer at 4.2.

Djokovic wasn’t at his best in his last match against Richard Gasquet. Although he won in straight sets, he looked shaky in the first.

Gasquet made a number of unforced errors in that match, but it is unlikely that Ferrer will be so charitable. The Spaniard was in brilliant form in his fourth round match against Juan Martin Del Potro, with his serve looking almost as accomplished as his more-heralded return game.

Ferrer has enjoyed some success against Djokovic, winning five of their previous encounters, to Djokovic’s seven. They last met at the Australian Open, where Djokovic won in straight sets, but Ferrer is undoubtedly in  better form now.

While a Ferrer win would not be a complete surprise,  Djokovic should find a way to progress. We think Djokovic will also win in three sets and he can be backed at 4.3 to win 2-1.