The quarter finals of the ATP Miami Open conclude on Thursday when the bottom half matches take place at the Hard Rock Stadium, on the Grandstand court in particular, as we go about finalising the semi-final line up in the first Masters 1000 event of the season.
The competition is reeling from the exit of the number one seed Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday evening and so the six men left in the tournament, and especially the four in action on Thursday, will all sense the chance to lift a first Masters 1000 title.
Hubert Hurkacz vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
The opening quarter final of the two on Thursday is a clash between two men who are no strangers to meeting each other as Hubert Hurkacz takes on the highest remaining seed left in the tournament in the form of Stefanos Tsitsipas.
These two have met in ATP competition seven times in their short careers, with Tsitsipas holding more than a slight edge having won six of those matches. The one thing which is interesting though is that the last five have all gone to a deciding set which could mean that we are in for a lengthy tussle here. The elephant in the room so to speak though is the heat with this match starting at 1pm local time. You would think Tsitsipas will be a lot happier in these conditions so it might be that he wins a shade more comfortably this time. If I was pushed into a bet here I would side with the over in games but I’m happy to leave this alone.
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Sebastian Korda vs Andrey Rublev
The second quarter final on Thursday evening sees the new kid on the block in Sebastian Korda taking on the most improved player over the last 18 months in the form of Andrey Rublev for a place in the last four on Friday.
Korda has been excellent in this tournament but I suspect his run ends here. Rublev has probably been the player of the week so far and had it not been for running into a rampant Daniil Medvedev in the quarter final of the Australian Open he would have been right there as the leading player of the year. Not only has he been the best player here, he has only dropped 16 games in three matches so he has breezed through a tricky looking draw with no issues. That isn’t the case with Korda, although to be fair to him he has beaten two top seeds, overcoming adversity in both quite impressively.
You have to have been impressed with Korda this week but this is a big stage now and for all his win over Schwartzman in the previous round was wonderful he made a lot of errors in it, especially on his forehand side and those errors will be calamitous against a Rublev who makes very few errors and has very few weaknesses in his game. I expect the run of Korda to end emphatically here but after looking through the markets I think the best bet is under 21.5 games, something that has landed in all of Rublev’s matches this week and once again gives is the 6-4 6-4 score which the -4.5 games doesn’t.
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