Juan Martin del Potro shocked Roger Federer at Indian Wells last week and the Argentine is out to do the Sunshine Double at the next event on the ATP Tour.
The 2018 Miami Open follows immediately on from the conclusion of Indian Wells, with Del Potro coming back from the brink to beat Federer in the final.
Recommended Miami Open Betting Sites
They could meet again in the Miami final having been drawn in opposite halves of the tournament, but as usual it is Federer who has the greatest history here.
A three-time winner of the Miami Open, the world number one is aiming to defend the title he won a year ago, but he is sure to face serious competition at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.
Rafael Nadal is out again but Novak Djokovic is set to play, the Serbian having been beaten by the world number 109, Taro Daniel of Japan, at the BNP Paribas Open.
Djokovic starts among the favourites regardless of that defeat but at the top of the odds for the Miami Open is Federer, with Del Potro not too far behind. But where is the best value? We’ll look at all of that and more, so let’s begin with a comparison of the outright betting odds for comparison and then get to the nitty-gritty.
Miami Open Betting Odds
Below I have compared the Miami Open odds across my three favourite tennis betting sites. The purpose of these comparisons is to make it easy to see which sites are offering the best odds for every tennis pro.
You’ll see that some of the top-ranked players have wildly different prices depending on where you bet. It’s always worth checking a couple of sites before you bet to make sure you’re getting the best odds available.
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Federer Aims to Bounce Back
Del Potro’s dramatic defeat of Federer on Sunday was the first time the veteran Swiss genius has been beaten since the turning of the year, bringing his unbeaten run to an end.
But the bookmakers are still backing Federer to come out on top at the Miami Open, with the world number one offered at a price of around the 5/4 mark.
Those are short odds but given how dominant Federer has been over the last couple of months it makes sense and a lot of tennis fans will be happy enough to take that price on. Federer’s path to the latter stages of the tournament looks likely to be fairly straightforward and it would be a shock if he did not make it through to at least the quarter-finals.
But Del Porto beating Federer may give hope to other players on the tour that the world number one is not as imperious as he appeared, with back-to-back tournaments set to test his fitness.
Federer is usually cool, calm and collected out on the court but this was not the case on Sunday against Del Potro, when he argued with the umpire over a decision during a crucial tie-break. He even smashed a racket against the ground to show his frustration and others may feel they can follow the template laid out by Del Potro to find a way to upset Federer this week.
“I feel frustrated that I let an opportunity like this go by. So it should sting for a bit,” Federer said after losing to Del Potro. “The question is how long?” Fans will just have to watch and find out.
Del Potro Back to His Best?
He is one of the most popular players on the tour, so it was no surprise to see Del Potro’s victory at Indian Wells was so well received.
Del Potro had to come back from the brink against Federer – saving a trio of match points on his way to victory – but even the Swiss accepted he had deserved to lose the final overall.
The 2009 US Open champion is the fifth seed in the Miami Open draw but could face the dangerous Japanese star Kei Nishikori in his third match at the tournament.
Currently sixth in the world, it is not inconceivable Del Potro could leap as high as third in the rankings – which would be a career-high – if he shows more of the form he produced last week.
At odds of 3/1 to claim the Miami Open crown, the bookmakers think Del Potro has a good chance of claiming the Sunshine Double. He is expected to be Federer’s main threat.
Djokovic Hard to Back
Novak Djokovic is a formidable competitor but he looked a shadow of his old self at Indian Wells and it is difficult to see how he could follow such a poor showing with a title-winning run here.
Nevertheless, the bookmakers have priced Djokovic up at 11/1 – third favourite behind Federer and Del Potro – which is perhaps an indication of the unusual position in which tennis finds itself.
The reliance on Federer at the top of the sport has grown in the absence of Nadal, Djokovic and former world number one Andy Murray, even if the Swiss does not seem to feel the pressure.
It will be good for the game if and when Djokovic is in a position to compete for titles again, but for now it seems to be too early and too risky to back him to win the Miami Open crown.
Djokovic is also in Del Potro’s section of the draw and while a meeting between the two players would certainly be worth watching, on current form there could only be one winner.
Cilic Needs to Recover Quickly
World number three Marin Cilic looked a good bet at Indian Wells but he went out in straight sets to Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, showing the inconsistency that plagues his game.
At his best Cilic is a man who is hard to stop but mentally he does not look ready to join the elite, so even at a price of 20/1 it is hard to support him for the Miami Open crown.
A few of the other big names in the field suffer from a similar issues, such as Grigor Dimitrov, who is widely available at around the 17/1 mark.
The Bulgarian has been made the third seed in the draw – behind only Cilic and Federer – but has shown few signs of justifying such a high status over the last few weeks.
Some disappointing performances of late have seen Alexander Zverev’s odds fall for events such as this one. At 30/1, he might just be able to shine away from the spotlight.
Miami Masters Best Bets
With Djokovic having won six of the last eight titles at the Miami Open, a proven history at this event is hard to find. Federer has won the tournament three times though, and even at a price as short as 5/4 he looks to be the best option.
Federer will be desperate to bounce back from his first defeat of the year and a straightforward draw gives him a good chance to ease his way back into the swing of things.
Del Potro has emerged as Federer’s biggest rival but competing in two big tournaments back-to-back is tough for anyone and it would not be a surprise to see him exit early.
Despite indifferent form, 20/1 on Cilic is a big price, especially when he is the second seed. Taylor Fritz should give Cilic a workout but his early rounds do not look tough.
Further down the odds and worth considering on an each-way basis is Borna Coric, who pushed Federer hard in the semi-finals at Indian Wells last week. Coric is a player who has looked on the brink of glory for some time. He is considered one of the most exciting starlets on the tour, and 60/1 for a player who reached the last four a week ago is much too big.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson has still never been to the semi-finals of a Masters-level event, having lost to Coric in the quarters last week. But he has the right game for the Miami Open and the sixth seed could give backers a solid run for their money at a price of 33/1.