Roger Federer v Juan Martin Del Potro
I will be putting aside some time on Friday evening to watch this Second Round match live as two players I love to watch meet in Miami. Juan Martin Del Potro has always been one of my favourite players on the Tour, while Roger Federer’s style and panache makes it tough to really dislike him and not many play tennis in his way.
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The only disappointment at this moment is the uncertainty that surrounds both players ahead of this match. Federer is coming off knee surgery and it will be interesting to see how he deals with his first significant injury and long lay-off from the Tour not of his own making.
On the other hand we have Del Potro still working his way back to being full time on the Tour, although I have been impressed with how he has dealt with the lower Ranked players he has played. Del Potro even challenged Tomas Berdych in Indian Wells before falling away in the second set and there is a real confidence he can get back to the top of his game in the coming months as long as the Argentinean can steer clear of injuries.
So why do I think Federer will be a little too good on the day? I am still not convinced Del Potro is fully comfortable with his backhand and that is going up against Federer’s own improved shot from that wing. I also think Del Potro is trying to get back up to speed and that has resulted in a couple of poor service games in a set of tennis which will give Federer a chance to take control of this match.
Mentally it will be interesting to see how Federer deals with the return from an injury, but I think physically he will be ready to compete. The conditions don’t really suit either player as much as you’d think, but Federer can work his way to a 75, 64 win and a place in the Third Round as well as improving his head to head against Del Potro.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Roger Federer – 3.5 Games at 2.05 with 888Sport
Albert Ramos-Vinolas v Richard Gasquet
It might be Richard Gasquet that leads the head to head, but all three previous matches have gone the distance against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Second Round match in Miami might be another close one especially with the conditions slower than other hard courts which should favour Ramos-Vinolas.
I am not sure it will be enough for the Spaniard to win the match outright, but it should make him feel a little more comfortable on the court. Ramos-Vinolas may prefer the clay courts, but he had a decent week in Indian Wells with a big win over Nick Kyrgios in the Second Round, and the slower conditions in Miami may make him feel he can have some joy from the extended rallies.
The last three appearances in Miami suggests that Richard Gasquet has also begun to appreciate the conditions at this tournament and he has reached the Semi Finals in 2013. However, he did miss last season and Gasquet might be caught cold by Ramos-Vinolas who has given him troubles in the past.
The key for Ramos-Vinolas is making sure he makes full use of the lefty serve and try and put some pressure on Gasquet by getting him to move around the court. His forehand does naturally go into the Gasquet backhand which remains a big weapon for the Frenchman, but I think Ramos-Vinolas might be able to steal at least one set which should give him a chance to cover with this number of games in his pocket.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Albert Ramos-Vinolas + 4.5 Games at 2.05 with Unibet
Prices correct at the time of writing.