Miami Masters Quarter-Final Tips: Slower conditions to suit Cerundolo

  • Dan Weston
  • Miami Masters Quarter-Final Tips: min read
Tennis player Karen Khachanov
Dan believes Khachanov is in for a tough game against Cerundolo

Quarter-final action continues in the ATP Miami Masters on Thursday, with three remaining matches scheduled in the round to decide the semi-finalists. Dan Weston gives his thoughts...

  • Sinner outclasses Ruusuvuori

  • Medvedev's return game should see him ease to victory over Eubanks

  • Cerundolo should be respected ahead of Khachanov clash

Sinner dominates and shortens in the outright market

In the early quarter-final yesterday - the only one completed in the round so far - Jannik Sinner eased past Emil Ruusuvuori in a dominant display where he won 21 of 22 first serve points, and 47% of return points. That will, of course, be enough to win any match, and a 61% to 39% total points won percentage shows how commanding the Italian was in making it through to the semi-finals.

Sinner will play the winner of Carlos Alcaraz or Taylor Fritz, which was previewed yesterday but has had to be put back until today due to the subsequent rain following Sinner's win.

Having won one more match, Sinner is still third favourite for the title, but is now as short as 5.69/2 with Alcaraz still leading the way as the 2.3211/8 favourite, and Daniil Medvedev 3.185/40 sandwiched between the two of them.

Medvedev with gift remaining half of the draw

Medvedev couldn't really ask for a more favourable half of the draw at this stage in a Masters quarter-final. He faces the qualifier Chris Eubanks tonight, who has never broken the top 100 at the age of 26, and while the American has worked miracles to get to this stage, with three consecutive underdog victories, it would look to be a virtually impossible task ahead to shock Medvedev.

Eubanks almost lost to Lukas Klein in the qualifiers, winning a tiebreak in the final set and with his ranking set to break into the top 100 for the first time after this event, it illustrates quite how much impact winning those key points in qualifiers can have.

Eubanks' return game likely to see him struggle

There's no doubt that Eubanks is going to have to serve incredibly well in order to at least keep it close.

He's won just 31% of return points on the main tour in the last year on hard court, breaking opposition a mere 12% of the time, and those numbers are unlikely to hold much feat for Medvedev.

With Medvedev winning in excess of 10% more return points in this sample, he should simply have too much in his locker tonight.

It's difficult to dispute the 1.061/18 current price on the world number five, and a routine victory seems likely.

Conditions and data suggest Cerundolo is under-rated by the market

All three of the quarter-finals discussed so far have looked extremely one-sided, but I wonder how competitive the final match in the round will be, featuring Francisco Cerundolo and Karen Khachanov.

The duo met last year in August on hard court, with Khachanov winning a deciding set having started around the 1.51/2 mark. He's slightly shorter at 1.434/9 at the time of writing.

I'm not really sure why the market thinks Khachanov has a greater chance of winning today than in that previous meeting.

The conditions in Miami are likely slower than those faced in that clash in Canada, favouring Cerundolo, and while the Argentine has had a pretty uninspiring last six months or so, he's far from incompetent on slow hard courts.

On hard court in the last 12 months, Khachanov has better serve numbers while Cerundolo has an edge on return - these suggest Khachanov should be favourite but not as short as the price on the market so far.

I do think Cerundolo can keep this pretty close, at the very least, and as the handicap markets continue to form, we should be able to get around 1.9520/21 on him with a 3.5 game head start.

Back Francisco Cerundolo + 3.5 Games @


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