After 10 days of competitive action, the final of the Miami Open takes place today with Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz fighting for the trophy. Dan Weston previews the title match...
"However, on hard court since the tour resumed last summer, Hurkacz actually has an edge on both service points won and return points won, with Sinner's winrate being potentially flattered by break point overperformance and an absurdly good (and almost certainly unsustainable) tiebreak record."
Refreshing to see some new names in a Masters final
In the advance tournament preview, I predicted that the event would be extremely competitive in the absence of the traditional big three - and indeed this was the case. From my perspective at least, it's been refreshing to see some new names get to the latter stages of a big tournament, and we see two players seeded outside the top 20 vying for the trophy today.
This is the first time Sinner has progressed past round four of a Masters 1000 level competition, while Hurkacz has at least got past this stage before, reaching the quarter-final of Indian Wells around this time of the year in 2019 where he lost to Roger Federer as an extremely heavy underdog.
Hurkacz with more of a serve-orientated dynamic
Both players have had to win five matches to get to this stage, and Hurkacz has a solid edge on serve in the tournament so far, winning around 3.5% more service points. However, Sinner has won over 5% more return points, so there's a clear difference in the dynamic of the two players with Hurkacz more serve-orientated, and Sinner likely to create more pressure on return.
However, on hard court since the tour resumed last summer, Hurkacz actually has an edge on both service points won and return points won, with Sinner's winrate being potentially flattered by break point overperformance and an absurdly good (and almost certainly unsustainable) tiebreak record - we've discussed this several times in the daily previews for this tournament.
Market potentially over-valuing Sinner
This, in my opinion, is a contributory factor as to why I think Sinner is over-rated by the markets here. I make him a very marginal favourite with not much to split the duo, yet the Italian teenager is currently priced at 1.625/8 to get the better of Hurkacz today. The Pole, Hurkacz, is the underdog at 2.588/5. I make this some value - it's not gigantic, but it looks out of line based on my numbers.
Of course, Sinner could continue his key point over-performance today but eventually it will mean-revert. Whatever happens, this will be a virtually unprecedented final with two players lower down the rankings competing for a Masters title - something we haven't experienced very often in the last 10-15 years at all with the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer dominating proceedings.
This new dynamic, in my view, is something to celebrate.
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