Miami Masters Day 8: Improving Raonic can test Del Potro
The first two men's singles quarter finals take place in Miami tonight, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to preview the matches...
"Interestingly, the price on Del Potro today is [1.43] - virtually identical to that of a fortnight ago - but I feel that the dynamics of the match-up are rather different."
Del Potro shortens for the title following win over Krajinovic
Our handicap recommendation on Filip Krajinovic ended in disappointment last night, with the Serb capitulating from 4-2 up in the first set to lose 6-4 6-2, failing to cover the +4.5 game line against Juan Martin Del Potro despite being in an excellent early position to do so.
The Argentine market favourite is now into [2.80] for the title, albeit in a wide open market which also features our two outright selections, Kevin Anderson and Borna Coric, who are now trading considerably shorter than their pre-event prices. Those readers who backed the duo prior to the tournament starting can now consider their options regarding hedging or clearing some liability at least.
Raonic looking for a better display than at Indian Wells
Del Potro's next assignment comes tonight as he takes on Milos Raonic in a repeat of their meeting at Indian Wells a fortnight ago, which he took 6-2 6-2 against an opponent who lacked high-level match practice as he was coming back to the tour following long-term injury issues.
Interestingly, the price on Del Potro today is [1.43] - virtually identical to that of a fortnight ago - but I feel that the dynamics of the match-up are rather different.
Firstly, Del Potro took the title in California, and although the tournament structure of these two March Masters are excellent for allowing top players to recoup accumulated fatigue, he's played a lot of tennis against quality opponents in the last few weeks, while Raonic will almost certainly benefit from that match practice.
Raonic unbroken in Miami so far this fortnight
Furthermore, the Canadian has impressed here at Crandon Park in the last week, having not been broken throughout the event so far, and his performances across Miami and Indian Wells would suggest that the increased match practice has helped Raonic return to close to previous levels which saw him ranked in the top five in the world - he's held serve 87.0% and broken opponents 23.4% (combined 110.4%) across these March Masters events.
Certainly my model liked Raonic here - pricing him at [2.39] to get the win, making the [3.25] about him on the Exchange some value, and taking him as the underdog is recommended tonight.
Chung a worthy favourite against Isner
Before this match-up, we have the small matter of Hyeon Chung against John Isner, with the Korean, Chung, exhibiting top 10 data in recent months. From the start of the 2018 season, he's held serve 81.9% and broken opponents 30.4% (combined 112.3%) and this data is clearly impressive, rubber-stamping obvious clear improvement which sees him justifying the huge potential which was obvious several years ago.
Chung is [1.58] to get past the giant American in something of a contrast of styles, and this isn't far off being value either, according to my model. Isner hasn't hugely impressed in recent months, but rather predictably, is performing better in his home country, as he has tended to do in the past.
Without doubt, with Chung's return data of an elite level, Isner is going to have to serve superbly to ensure that he doesn't face pressure on a relatively consistent basis this evening.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
Back Milos Raonic at [3.25] to beat Juan Martin Del Potro