Miami Open 2016 Round 1 previews and predictions: Baghdatis v Becker, Kukushkin v Baker, Kuznetsov v Dutra Silva, Erber v Rosol
Marcos Baghdatis v Benjamin Becker
Baghdatis hasn’t played in singles after his solid performance in Dubai. At the beginning of March the Cypriot defeated an unknown player from Andorra in the Davis Cup action. Last year Marcos made an early exit in Miami, this time we guess he’ll try to improve on it: the current physical form and good chances to outplay Becker must afford it. As for the German contender, Becker has qualified for the event by defeating the veteran Stepanek and Arnaboldi who tends to perform better on clay but appeared to be not the easiest nut to crack for Becker. Marcos Baghdatis is more consistent player whose service play seems to be a bit worse but Becker is not a big server either and holding his serve will be not that helpful. The only critical question is whether Marcos will be able tune for his play from the very start. The Cypriot is used to failing the beginning of an encounter, which means that the negative handicap is too dangerous to pick up.
Betting pick: Marcos Baghdatis is a favorite but don’t bet at the handicap. Shall Baghdatis lose his serve or the entire set, it’s worth to bet on his final win.
Mikhail Kukushkin v Brian Baker
Baker was granted with a main-draw spot but it’s a very arguable decision of the event’s officials. The American has lost his only single match at the Australian Open to Simone Bolelli. Since that Baker hasn’t stepped on court. His main tool is the serve but it will hardly be enough against the Kazakh veteran. Mikhail Kukushkin has got a relatively easy path in Miami with real chances to make it to 1/16 and set a clash against Rafa Nadal. Kukushkin is clearly on top of his play and should definitely get an edge over the American.
Betting pick: Kukushkin wins but the handicap looks too big as it may be not that easy to convert a break against Baker.
Rogerio Dutra Silva v Andrey Kuznetsov
Lucky loser Dutra Silva has knocked out Tommy Paul in straight sets. Hard is not the Brazilian’s favorite kind of surface but his booming serve saves the situation. Andrey Kuznetsov displays consistent power and decent baseline techniques. The Russian may look a bit scared but we attribute it to the status of the event. However, the 25-year-old Russian must easily make his further way in Miami.
Betting pick: Kuznetsov wins (negative handicap bet looks profitable).
Pierre-Hugues Herbert v Lukas Rosol
Herbert has finally made it to the main draw. The in-form Frenchman shows very reliable service play and does his best to display aggressive tennis. As for his future opponent, Rosol lacks consistency and hasn’t been that productive so far. The 30-year-old Czech lost a set to Denis Istomin 6-1 and was defeated by the eventual champion Marcel Granollers at the Irving Challenger. The powerful Herbert should take advantage of the Czech’s poor confidence. Rosol may only hope to catch his play, but he’ll hardly manage to do so at the very start.
Betting pick: Herbert wins. But be careful to secure your bet shall the Czech gather his steam.
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