Miami Open Men's Quarter-Final Tips: Medvedev likely to join Kecmanovic in semi-finals
With two underdog wins in yesterday's first batch of quarter-finals, there's further quarter-final action at the Miami Masters tonight. Dan Weston returns with his preview...
Cerundolo and Ruud shock big-names to progress
There were two shocks last night with rather differing dynamics in the first two quarter-finals in Miami. Jannik Sinner was forced to retire in the first set against the Argentine clay-courter, Francisco Cerundolo, while Casper Ruud edged Alexander Zverev in three sets, setting up a meeting between the duo in the semi-finals. You'd have got huge odds on a Cerundolo v Ruud semi-final here, but one of the duo - Ruud will be the heavy favourite - will reach the final.
Considering this, the winner of tonight's quarter-finals should be able to get an easier final on paper than they probably anticipated. First up, at 1800 UK time, tournament top seed Daniil Medvedev faces Hubert Hurkacz, while Carlos Alcaraz meets Miomir Kecmanovic in the early hours for European viewers.
Medvedev favourite for serve-oriented clash
Medvedev is a strong 1.27 favourite to dispose of eighth seed Hurkacz, who he defeated in the group stages of the ATP Finals last season, and again on hard court in August in Toronto. These were revenge for Hurkacz's victory in the last 16 at Wimbledon earlier in the year, across five sets.
In the last 12 months on hard court, Medvedev has a slight edge on serve, but wins 5% more points on return, making the his status as a strong market favourite pretty reasonable. Their three previous matches have been very serve-oriented, with both players holding serve over 90% of the time, and Hurkacz not winning much more than 20% of return points.
For there to be a shock tonight, Hurkacz will need to markedly improve on return compared to those previous meetings.
Hurkacz is odds-against just to win a set.
Alcaraz likely to stall Kecmanovic's progress
Even shorter-priced as favourite is Carlos Alcaraz in the second semi-final against Miomir Kecmanovic, who should enjoy a nice rise up the rankings having made his second consecutive Masters quarter-final, at the very least.
That successful March for Kecmanovic has seen him record five underdog victories, and he will need a sixth tonight, at 1.20, the biggest price of the lot, if he is to continue his progression in Florida.
Unfortunately for the Serb, the market price looks pretty accurate. This year on hard court, the duo have pretty similar service points won percentages, but where Alcaraz thrives is on return, winning around 8% more return points in this sample. With Alcaraz only likely to get better and better, he looks like a very justified favourite to progress to the semi-finals.
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