Andy Murray’s losing streak continued on Friday with a shock defeat to Alex Bogomolov, but there’s still plenty of action to look forward to in this year’s Sony Ericsson Open…
Rafael Nadal v Kei Nishikori
The men’s world number one is still searching for his first title of 2011 and his latest attempt to get off the mark takes him to Miami in one of the few World Tour Masters 1000 events he is yet to win.
His 8/1 rated opponent Nishikori has had a decent year so far, recording victories over the likes of Marin Cilic and James Blake, however given the rarity with which Nadal goes out to lowly-ranked opponents, it’s tough to justify backing him.
The Spaniard has won their two previous meetings, comfortably triumphing in straight sets in their last collision at Wimbledon last year, so 1/6 on the favourite delivering 2-0 has to be fancied.
It won’t be a whitewash though, as four of the five sets that Nadal has taken off the 21-year-old in the past have been earned by just one break.
Caroline Wozniacki v Daniela Hantuchova
The top-ranked woman’s player Wozniacki is less certain of success against former top-ten player Hantuchova, but she is still a 1/6 favourite to see off the experienced Slovakian.
Hantuchova made a dismal start to the year, losing her first four matches, yet has gradually improved, lifting her first trophy since 2007 in Pattaya City last month and enjoying wins over Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka.
She eased past rising American star Melanie Oudin 6-1 6-3 in her tournament opener and will therefore be confident of ending a dire record against Wozniacki, having claimed only eight games in two encounters against the Dane.
That form is enough to suggest that Hantuchova can finally take a set off the Australian Open semi-finalist, albeit in a losing effort, at 3/1.
A £20 stake on Wozniacki winning 2-1 would provide a £60 profit. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.