ATP Miami Open Betting Tips: Karen Khachanov The Man To Back
- Karen Khachanov each-way outright – 50/1 with William Hill
- Khachanov to win third quarter – 7/1 with Betfair
- Nick Kyrgios each-way outright – 33/1 with BetHard
Dominic Thiem stunned Roger Federer at Indian Wells to claim his first Masters 1000 title, and he will be hoping to become the first player since the Swiss legend to complete the Sunshine Double in Miami.
Thiem has long been considered a clay specialist but court speed is everything when it comes to tennis betting and slow hard courts present a similar test.
And the Austrian, one of the fittest and strongest men on tour, coped admirably with the physical demands of the Indian Wells Plexipave surface to outlast Federer in the final.
The Laykold surface at the Miami Open's new home for 2019, the Hard Rock Stadium, is a mite quicker than the Plexipave (30.4 on the Court Pace index last year against 27.9), but this should not make any difference to Thiem's chances.
And he has been handed a kind draw in Florida.
But there is one big danger lurking in his quarter to my eyes. Nick Kyrgios was stunned by Philipp Kohlschreiber in his opener at Indian Wells, but that defeat did not look nearly so bad when the German put out world number one Novak Djokovic.
In the previous tournament, Australian Kyrgios beat two multiple Slam champions in Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, and two Masters winners in John Isner and Alexander Zverev to take the Acapulco title.
As discussed previously, backing Kyrgios comes with health warnings and he has yet to beat probable third round opponent Kei Nishikori in four previous meetings. But the Japanese has been below-par of late and with Kyrgios seemingly in relaxed mood in Miami, I cannot resist an each-way bet at 33/1 across the board.
Miami Open: Betting Value
With Nadal absent due his persistently dodgy knees, Djokovic and Federer head the market with Zverev next best at 12/1.
There is a question mark over Djokovic after his exit to Kohlschreiber, and Federer's age must count against him in a tournament coming hot on the heels of him reaching the final at Indian Wells.
The hunt is on for value, and I think I have found some in the form of Karen Khachanov who is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 for the first time.
The 22-year-old Russian claimed his first Masters title in Paris last November, beating Isner, Zverev, Thiem and then Djokovic in the final.
Paris is a shade quicker than Miami but Khachanov showed at Indian Wells he can cope with a slower surface, beating Isner in straight sets before going out to Nadal in two tiebreaks in the quarters.
Federer is the big name in his third quarter although local favourite Kevin Anderson (the South African lives in nearby Palm Beach) cannot be underestimated.
We go back to the top half for my third and final play with defending champion Isner drawn in the first quarter. Despite that defeat to Khachanov, the big-serving American has been in decent form and he is the pick of the quarter with Djokovic avoided for obvious reasons.
Milos Raonic is a potential fourth-round opponent but I am inclined to oppose the Canadian this time with a chance his recurring knee injury may be aggravated by two tournaments back-to-back.
Isner beat Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals last year before getting the better of Zverev in the final. He also reached the last four in 2015, falling to eventual winner Djokovic.
At 40/1 with Bet365, Isner is a massive price for a reigning champ and makes significant each-way appeal. And if Djokovic falls early again, the American's quarter odds of 7/1 with Betfair and could look huge come early next week.
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