ATP Miami Masters Betting: Back Murray to overcome tough draw

Will Andy Murray be celebrating a win in the Sony Open this year?
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The tennis tour makes the move from Indian Wells to Miami this week for the second of the back-to-back Masters 1000 events and Sean Calvert fancies Andy Murray to come good at the Sony Open...

"I would expect a better performance from Murray here in Florida in conditions that he is very familiar with.."

Back Murray at [4.6]

Last week's wager on Tomas Berdych at a nice price was unfortunate, as the Berdman made the semi-finals at Indian Wells and I don't think many observers expected Rafa Nadal to prove so strong in his first event on a hard court for a year.

The tour moves on swiftly as ever to Miami for the second of the back-to-back Masters 1000s and this year's Sony Open Tennis is without Nadal and Roger Federer, leaving the top four seeds as Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych.

The top half of the draw sees Djokovic paired with Del Potro and Ferrer, but the latter pair are in the opposite quarter, so the two-time defending champion and world number one has a series of rather straightforward-looking opponents ahead of a possible last-four clash with either Delpo or Ferrer.

Djokovic's potential early opponents include Lukas Rosol, Feli Lopez and Gilles Muller and perhaps only Tommy Haas in his immediate section of the draw is capable of extending Nole past a perfunctory two sets unless Alex Dolgopolov has a sudden return to form.

The rest of the Serb's quarter looks weak, with the out of form Janko Tipsarevic the highest seed, followed by Gilles Simon, Florian Mayer and Kevin Anderson.

I would expect a better showing from Ferrer this week after his early loss to Anderson at Indian Wells and I would rate him as the likely semi finalist, rather than Del Potro, who will be playing for his fifth straight week on the tour and will be fatigued after his recent exertions.

Other possible in that section of the draw include the perennially injured Kei Nishikori, the currently injured Juan Monaco, Julien Benneteau, Jeremy Chardy, Marcel Granollers and Benoit Paire.

In short it would be a major surprise if Djokovic didn't make it through to the final against that sort of opposition.

Murray in contrast looks to have a tougher path through to the latter stages, with a likely opener against Bernard Tomic followed by a potential third round clash with Grigor Dimitrov. Also in Murray's quarter are Jerzy Janowicz, Marin Cilic, John Isner, David Nalbandian and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Cilic has never been past the last-16 in Miami and neither has Isner, while Tsonga's fitness is questionable after last week's knee issue at Indian Wells, so it might not be as tricky as it looks for the Scot, who lost to Djokovic in the final here 12 months ago.

Murray's Masters record has been patchy of late, but I would expect a better performance from him here in Florida in conditions that he is very familiar with and he should come through that section of the draw to the semi-finals.

The final quarter looks open, with Berdych surely vulnerable, having reached two finals and a semi final in the last three weeks and the Czech doesn't seem like great value this time at around [17.0].

Among the players who will look to take advantage of any fatigue from Berdych are Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic, Nico Almagro and Sam Querrey and of these the former two look the ones for big-priced punters to focus on at around the [100] mark.

But this event has pretty much always been won by the top-class player and only Nikolay Davydenko (2008), Marcelo Rios (1998), Miloslav Mecir (1987) and Tim Mayotte (1985) have won this title as non-Grand Slam winners. Both Mecir and Rios were major finalists of course, so it's tough to make a case for the long shots this week.

Djokovic is bidding for his third straight Miami title this week to emulate Andre Agassi's 2001-2003 triumphs and clearly he has an outstanding chance, but at around [1.95] it's hardly worth a bet, but I think that despite his tricky draw we'll see a much better showing from Murray this week and at around [4.6] he looks the bet in Miami.

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Back Murray at [4.6]

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