Monday ATP Miami Open Odds, Picks: Korda and Karatsev Live to Reach Fourth Round (March 28)
Mark Brown/Getty. Pictured: Sebastian Korda hits a backhand against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
As we enter the second week of the Miami Open, the men’s draw is wide open with a number of capable contenders and dark horses left.
On Sunday, Jannik Sinner pulled off a remarkable comeback to get past Pablo Carreno Busta while Francisco Cerundolo shocked Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios continued his incredible run of form.
SINNER WINNER 🤯
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 28, 2022
With eight matches set to be played on Monday, here are my two best bets for the slate.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Hubert Hurkacz (-260) vs. Aslan Karatsev (+205)
12:30 p.m. ET
Reigning Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz had to battle through a tough opponent in Arthur Rinderknech to start this year’s campaign, but he came up with the goods in crucial moments,.
In the first set, Hurkacz faced a 5-3 deficit in the tiebreaker, but he was able to rattle off four consecutive points and control the match from that point on. The Polish number one rattled off a number of quality wins to win his first Masters 1000 title last year, including victories over Jannik Sinner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Milos Raonic.
Aslan Karatsev heads into this match having won just his second in his past seven matches. He was dominated by Sebastian Korda in his only prior Miami Open appearance, so beating Ugo Humbert will offer a bit of confidence to the struggling Karatsev.
In my opinion, there are reasons to believe that Karatsev is a bit more live to win than these odds are giving him credit for.
Hurkacz got past Rinderknech in large part due to a glorious serving performance. He notched his second-highest first serve percentage and third-highest ace total of any match on the year, including two Australian Open matches.
It’s a credit to Hurkacz that his serve is capable of being so efficient, but he can’t rely on a 79% first serve clip and 17 aces to go with zero double faults consistently. On the other hand, Karatsev got by Humbert with just a 59% first serve percentage and six aces to go with six double faults.
Karatsev limited Humbert to significantly lower first and second serve win numbers than Hurkacz was able to force out of Rinderknech, and while the latter opponent is certainly in better form right now, he was only two points away from substantially changing the complexion of the match.
These two also met twice last year, with Hurkacz rocking Karatsev at Indian Wells and Karatsev pulling off a three-set win in San Diego a few weeks prior. On the ground, Karatsev should be comfortable with the time that these Miami courts provide players, and it would be a surprise to see Hurkacz really take the initiative in neutral situations.
If Hurkacz has a consistent dip in service form, Karatsev is capable of taking advantage and putting serious pressure on him, making him a viable candidate to pull off an upset.
At +205, I really like the value here.
Pick: Aslan Karatsev +205 via FanDuel
Miomir Kecmanovic (-136) vs. Sebastian Korda (+112)
2:50 p.m. ET
The Serbian is playing some of the best tennis of his career, if not the best, but he’ll be tested heavily by American Sebastian Korda this afternoon.
Korda has consistently been in good form whenever he’s been in Florida, notching an 11-3 record in the Miami Open and Delray Beach Open over the past two years. That may seem like a minor stat, but these conditions are ideal for Korda, and while Kecmanovic may be fond of them too, Korda has strokes that can cause serious problems for him.
With easy power off of both wings, Korda presents a challenge that can be really tough for some of the best players in the game when he’s consistent, and that’s a big key.
When Korda is spraying balls and struggling to find rhythm, he can quickly fall apart, but this version of Korda had two chances to serve for the match against Rafa Nadal just two weeks ago in Indian Wells. That’s how good he can be.
Kecmanovic picked up a massive win against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last round, but he was also fortunate to get the Canadian in one of his worst performances of the year.
For all of the success that Kecmanovic has had, he’s been fortunate to get through some really tight battles. He won three three-set matches in Indian Wells, and without those victories we have a far different perspective of his season.
That isn’t to take away from the improved level that Kecmanovic has shown, nor the sublime clutch tennis that he’s played, but we may be overrating him just a touch at the moment, particularly on hard courts.
There’s a reason why Korda’s hard court Elo Rating is still nearly 100 points higher than Kecmanovic’s, and I think he’ll display that pedigree in this match.
Pick: Sebastian Korda +112 via FanDuel