The seeded players enter the fray in the ATP Miami Open on Friday as the second round gets up and running on what looks like being a wonderful day of tennis around the grounds at the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida.
We’ve seen some good tennis in the competition so far but you get the impression things will go up a notch with a decent cast list on the schedule on Friday as the first Masters 1000 event of the year fires into life.
We have the three matches on the Grandstand court over the course of the day and into the evening with the action actually beginning with a men’s clash as two Americans battle it out when Taylor Fritz is the first seed to step onto this court. He meets Marcos Giron before a women’s match takes us into the second men’s game of the day. That sees the number one seed Daniil Medvedev in action when he meets Yen-Hsun Lu. We have to wait until the end of the night session for the third match on the main court as the 2018 winner and 2019 finalist John Isner starts another Miami campaign when he meets Mackenzie McDonald.
Another American big server opens the show on the second of the courts in use for the men’s draw on Friday when Reilly Opelka takes on Alexei Popyrin before our outright bet Grigor Dimitrov steps onto the court to meet the British player Cameron Norrie. The entertaining Felix Auger-Aliassime will then be the centre of attention when he meets Pierre-Hugues Herbert before the recent Acapulco champion Alexander Zverev starts his Miami Open campaign. He faces Emil Ruusuvuori before the action on this court will be closed by the British number one Dan Evans who takes on the entertaining Frances Tiafoe.
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Best of the Rest
If you happen to be in Miami and going to the tournament or are at home in the UK watching live on the Prime Video service then there are plenty of decent names to watch over the course of the day with the likes of David Goffin, Karen Khachanov and Roberto Bautista Agut over on Court 2 while Dusan Lajovic and Jannik Sinner will be looking to showcase their qualities and book a place in the third round of the event.
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the day with Court 1 the centre of my attention as both bets take place there. The first bet I like is over 22.5 games in the match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. These two have faced each other on two previous occasions – in Montpellier and Marseille last year and of the five sets they have played three of them have gone to a tiebreak and another was 7-5 to Herbert. The anomaly is the 6-0 FAA set win in Marseille but that just looks like a complete freak and given how well both these men serve and defend their serve I’m expecting another close game, particularly with both having shown signs of good form this term. The Canadian made the final of one of the warm up events in Australia then wiped the floor with Denis Shapovalov in the Australian Open before a credible showing in Acapulco last week while Herbert had a great run in Marseille a couple of weeks ago where he beat Kei Nishikori and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to the final where he went down in three tight sets to Daniil Medvedev. Matches between these two tend to be tight as so the sets so I like over 22.5 games here.
The other bet I like is for Dan Evans to beat Frances Tiafoe in the night session. Evans has started 2021 in fine form with a win in one of those warm up events prior to the Australian Open where he saw off FAA in the final. Since then he has been a bit up and down but we can excuse him his loss to Cameron Norrie in the first round of the Australian Open. Although that was disappointing his exertions of the week before played a part in that and since then he’s gone down in three sets to the great Roger Federer and the very much in form Aslan Karatsev. Tiafoe had to come from a set down in the first round here to see off a Stefano Travaglia earlier in the week but he didn’t look brilliant in that match and got fortunate that the Italian faded a little. I don’t see Evans doing that though and although this might be tight as plenty of Evans matches are, I expect the Brit to come through in the end.
Back F.Auger-Aliassime vs P-H.Herbert – Over 22.5 games for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with BetVictor
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Back D.Evans to beat F.Tiafoe for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Betfair
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