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ATP Miami Open Odds & Preview: Once Again, Daniil Medvedev the Favorite

Stephanie Myles

by Stephanie Myles in Tennis

Mar 23, 2021 · 9:02 AM PDT

Miami Open
Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, returns a volley to Roger Federer, of Switzerland, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Federer defeated Medvedev 6-4, 6-2. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
  • It’s Miami Open No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev’s first appearance at the top of a top-tier draw
  • John Isner and Andy Murray are the only previous Miami Open champions in the field
  • Can Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime go a step further than their 2019 semis? We break it down below

For the first time since the 2005 edition of Indian Wells at the Masters 1000 level, there won’t be a single member of the “Big 3” of men’s tennis – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – in the field at this Miami Open.

It’s a huge opportunity for someone when the first round begins on Wednesday, while the women’s side of the tournament got started today.

ATP Miami Open Odds

Seed Player Odds
[1] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) +350
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) +450
[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) +600
[3] Alexander Zverev (GER) +600
[12] Milos Raonic (CAN) +1400
[6] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) +1400
[21] Jannik Sinner (ITA) +1400
[7] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) +1700
[17] Aslan Karatsev (RUS) +1700
 [14] Karen Khachanov (RUS) +3000
[18] John Isner (USA) +5000
[30] Reilly Opelka (USA) +5000
[11] Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) +7500
[15] Alex de Minaur (AUS) +7500
[5] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) +7500
[10] Fabio Fognini (ITA) +8000
 – Lloyd Harris (RSA) +10000

Odds from March 23 at DraftKings

Watch Out for Karatsev

Now that he’s arrived, and is in the top 30 after winning his first career ATP Tour title in Dubai last week, watch out for 2021 revelation Aslan Karatsev.

In his first-ever trip to Miami, he’ll want to continue his run. And with his new status comes a first-round bye in the 96-player draw. He will have had four-to-five days to travel and recuperate.

The other seeds in his section are Fabio Fognini, the desolate Benoit Paire and Diego Schwartzman. A great outcome for him.

Canadian Contenders Have Miami Priors

It is going to be a pressure-filled week for the two young Canadians, Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime.

Miami will mark the first time since the pandemic began that they’ll have a big ranking points result to defend.

Both made the semifinals in 2019 – a big career move for both.

But last week, Auger-Aliassime saw a winnable match against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Acapulco quarterfinals slip away. And Shapovalov had similar wobbles in another winnable match against Lloyd Harris in the Dubai semifinals.

Shapovalov potentially has countryman Milos Raonic in his way, in the fourth round.

Auger-Aliassime ran through from the qualifying to the semis in 2019, losing two tiebreaks to Isner in a match he had chances to win. He could face Isner again in the third round.

Tricky Opponents for Medvedev

On paper, hot favorite Medvedev has a good-looking section.

But there are a couple of potential opponents who have given him fits in the past.

He and American Reilly Opelka went 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 before the Russian prevailed in Miami two years ago. And Opelka beat him the last time they played.

As well, potential quarterfinal opponent Roberto Bautista Agut is 2-0 against him, including a victory inside the US Open bubble in the tuneup tournament last August.

Miami Open Contenders – Best Previous Results

Player Trips to Miami Best Result
Daniil Medvedev 2 R16 (2019)
Andrey Rublev 5 R32 (2019)
Stefanos Tsitsipas 2 R16 (2019)
Alexander Zverev 5 F (2018)
Milos Raonic 9 QF (’18, ’16, ’14)
Denis Shapovalov 2 SF (2019)
Jannik Sinner 0 First visit
Aslan Karatsev 0 First visit

Few Former Champions in the Field

There were so many withdrawals this year, for various reasons, that No. 32 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan is ranked No. 44.

That means 12 of the top 32 players in the world – not just the “Big 3” – passed.

Only John Isner (who has hardly played in 2021) and Andy Murray (who is coming back from a hip replacement and needed a wild card) have won in Miami and are in this year’s draw.

So prior championships experience, clearly, won’t be a factor.

Previous Miami Open Winners and Finalists

Year Champion Finalist
2020 (Not held) N/A
2019 [4] Roger Federer [7] John Isner
2018 [14] John Isner [4] Alexander Zverev
2017 [4] Roger Federer [5] Rafael Nadal
2016 [1] Novak Djokovic [6] Kei Nishikori
2015 [1] Novak Djokovic [3] Andy Murray
2014 [2] Novak Djokovic [1] Rafael Nadal
2013 [2] Andy Murray [3] David Ferrer

Acapulco champion Alexander Zverev, the one younger player who does have a deep Miami run on his resumé, ended up in Medvedev’s half.

The Russian has beaten Zverev four of the last five times they’ve played.

First-Round Upsets to Watch

  1. Thiago Monteiro (+170) over Kevin Anderson (-215): Anderson lost the first round at the Australian Open and has pulled out of every tournament since then. He’s clearly not 100-percent.
  2. Joao Sousa (+205) over Christopher O’Connell (-265): Sousa is having a terrible 2021 so far. But he has had some impressive victories in Miami during his career, while O’Connell hasn’t beaten anyone in the top 150 since leaving Australia, and has never played Miami before.

Best Bet: Andrey Rublev (+450)
Longer shot: Aslan Karatsev (+1700)

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