Day six of the Miami Open sees round three continue and, after several competitive contest yesterday, Dan Weston's focus is on underdogs to keep their matches close...
"Today, Karatsev faces a young player with high potential in Sebastian Korda, who at 20 years of age is already, according to my metrics, an above-average player at ATP level."
Medvedev just over even-money for the title
Six of yesterday's eight round three matches went to three sets, with tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev one of those pushed to a decider. He's into 2.427/5 on the Exchange for the title, with Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas further back, but still the only other two players in single-digit pricing.
Fourth favourite is Aslan Karatsev 12.011/1, the Russian who has had a meteoric rise up the rankings, standing as the 17th seed for this event after a journeyman career previously on the Challenger Tour. Such career turnarounds for players aged around his age - he's currently 27 - are incredibly rare, and he was ranked outside the top 250 in the world when the tour resumed last summer.
Karatsev short-priced against improving Korda
Karatsev's numbers on the main tour since that point are pretty strong - he's running at just over 105% combined service/return points won - but arguably those numbers don't quite match up with a 75% win-rate, so there's a case to be made that his results flatter him slightly.
Today, Karatsev faces a young player with high potential in 20-year-old Sebastian Korda who's already, according to my metrics, an above-average player at ATP level. Korda reached the final in Delray Beach in January, losing the final to Hubert Hurkacz, and then he backed that up with a win in the Quimper Challenger indoors at the end of January.
Despite Korda's high potential, and decent current ability, Karatsev is 1.454/9 to progress and I'm quite surprised by that. Korda +4.5 games is 1.654/6 on the Exchange and this looks a solid enough spot to me here.
Galan and Mannarino also with chances as underdogs
Another underdog with half a chance is Daniel Galan who is 3.4012/5 against Lorenzo Sonego. It's been a surprise that Galan has reached this stage after shocking Alex De Minaur in round two, but Galan might have enough to test Sonego who has been in uninspiring form this year after a shock run to the Vienna final indoors towards the end of the season. Sonego has a mediocre record on hard courts over the last couple of years and could be vulnerable at a short price.
If conditions were a little quicker here, I'd be keener on Adrian Mannarino at 3.7011/4 versus Diego Schwartzman, whose hard court data is solid but not top 10 level. However, the anticipated slower conditions - again backed up by the tournament data here so far this year - are likely to be of more benefit to Schwartzman.
Finally, the shortest prices today belong to the highest-ranked players, with Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas both priced around 1.201/5 for their matches against Marton Fucsovics and Kei Nishikori, respectively. Both players don't look hugely out of line with this ballpark pricing, so it would be a surprise if either didn't progress to the fourth round.
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