The men’s third round begins on Sunday at the 2013 Sony Open and there are several clashes that look like they could be pretty tight encounters.
I would expect James Blake to continue his excellent form this tournament and get past Albert Ramos and Kevin Anderson may be able to continue his recent improvement against Janko Tipsarevic - although the South African is a little short at 1.55 for my liking.
David Ferrer might just find Fabio Fognini a slightly trickier proposition than odds of 1.08 suggest and although he’s on a good run at the moment I’m not convinced that Jurgen Melzer is worth a 1.50 quote to beat Tobias Kamke.
All things considered I think it’s worth taking a chance - well, more of a big leap of faith - on Alexandr Dolgopolov at odds-against in his clash with Tommy Haas. The wildly inconsistent Ukrainian is a 2.20 shot to beat Haas and I would only ever consider or recommend backing him when he isn’t favourite. This seems a good opportunity to do just that.
Dolgo has been in awful form for much of this season. Since making the final of Valencia on indoor hard at the end of last year he has won just three completed matches on tour in 2013, including his victory over Nikolay Davydenko in the opening round here this week. His issues with illness have been well documented and his form is always up and down, but if that win over Davydenko has given him a bit of belief he could easily take down Haas.
Tommy has a poor record here in Miami, where he hasn’t bettered the third round since 2001 and a fit and firing Dolgo could prolong that record today. On the one occasion they have played in the past Dolgopolov won in the final of Washington last season. Haas’s current form isn’t great and he took a drubbing from Del Potro at Indian Wells last week.
Dolgo could easily lose this two and one of course, but if he is in the mood he has a great chance at a handy price.
Best bet: Back Dolgopolov to beat Haas at 2.20