The two semi-finals of the ATP Miami Open take place on Friday over the two sessions of play on the Grandstand court at the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida as we determine the two men who will battle it out for the first Masters 1000 title of the year on Sunday.
The shocks kept on coming in this competition on Thursday when Stefanos Tsitsipas excited the tournament at the quarter final stage. All four men who remain in the tournament will believe they can claim their first title at this level which should make for a competitive day of tennis.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Jannik Sinner
The opening semi-final of the tournament was expected to involve the number one seed Daniil Medvedev but it is his successor Roberto Bautista Agut who takes on the exciting Italian young star Jannik Sinner for the first place in Sunday’s final.
I think it is fair to say that in a tournament which has produced a lot of good tennis the best performance of it was the one which Bautista Agut delivered to beat Medvedev in the quarter final on Wednesday. He showed his class and his tactical nous and that bodes well for him here. Sinner has gone well in this tournament but it was hard to know what to make of his quarter final win over the mercurial Alexander Bublik who just seemed to collapse in a heap by the end. We know Sinner is very special though and he also leads the head to head after beating the Spaniard in a deciding set in Dubai last month.
There wasn’t a lot between the two that day and I’m sure this will be pretty competitive as well but I expect Bautista Agut to turn the tables in this one. He has shown his battling nature this week but also that he can turn defence into offense whereas Sinner hasn’t been forced to pull out all the stops too often in this tournament and I suspect that might be the difference in this one. I like the more experienced Spaniard to make the final here.
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Andrey Rublev vs Hubert Hurkacz
The second semi-final sees arguably the player of the season so far in Andrey Rublev taking on a surprise semi-finalist in the form of Hubert Hurkacz in a match which gives both men the opportunity to make their first Masters 1000 final.
That in itself is likely to see this one to be competitive, which would be a reflection of their only previous meeting when Hurkacz won in a deciding set. That was on the clay of Rome last year though and you would think the switch to the hard courts and the improved form of Rublev makes him the favourite. Hurkacz showed good poise to come from behind against Tsitsipas on Thursday though and if that hasn’t destroyed his energy reserves he’ll fancy his chances here. Rublev was on court until quite late on Thursday so how he recovers will be interesting. I think this semi-final is one to watch and observe rather than bet on.
Back R.Bautista Agut to beat J.Sinner for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with William Hill
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