All good things must come to an end and following another impressive unbeaten run, which started at the back end of last season, the current world no.1 was finally defeated when he lost out to the in-form Juan Martin Del Potro in the Indian Wells semis.
Djokovic had looked in outstanding form throughout the week in the Californian desert but will be a little concerned by the fact that it wasn’t so much his own level which dropped against Del Potro but the Argentinean’s which rose.
Djokovic is the defending champion here and comes into the event as the 4/5 favourite with the tennis odds makers. Del Potro and Murray are both on the other side of the draw, meaning that there should be very little to stop the Serb making it through to the final.
I’m a little concerned that there could be a slight drop in concentration from Djokovic now that the unbeaten run has ended and my opinion is that he will now be largely focussed on the upcoming clay season. It’s incredibly difficult to back against the Serb in any event these days, but for this one I may just be looking elsewhere for better Tennis betting value.
Despite clearly prioritising his trip to Indian Wells this year, Andy Murray never looked all that convincing through any of his matches, before Del Potro finally overcame him in their quarter-final clash.
Murray is available at 3/1 to win here, but looking at the indifferent form along with the run of likely opponents he’ll have to get past, I just can’t see the Scot making it in Miami.
Andy’s opening encounter is a tricky looking one against Bernard Tomic and should he come through that, he’ll need to defeat the likes of Dimitrov, Janowicz, Tsonga and Del Potro, just to make the final.
I wouldn’t be keen on backing Murray here, meaning that we could be seeing success for somebody further down the rankings…
Juan Martin Del Potro
At Indian Wells last week, the Argentine finally started to show the form that won him the US Open title in 2009.
Del Potro was awesome in coming from behind to defeat both Murray and Djokovic, and having taken the opening set in the final before moving into a second set lead, Delpo should really have been crowning a big week for Argentina with a Masters 1000 win.
The issue here in Miami is that as well as being much slower courts, I get the feeling that Del Potro may be much slower in getting around them. He looked tired in that final set against Nadal on Sunday and a long run in the hot desert will not have left him energised for glory in the humid surroundings of Miami.
You can get 7/1 on Del Potro to win here, but again, it’s not a highly attractive price for me.
Having not been entirely convinced by any of the leading contenders, I’d probably be looking at the likes of Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or even Janko Tipsarevic to do well here.
Berdych reached the final in Dubai last month and had an excellent run to the semis in California last week. He wasn’t on top of his game in defeat to Rafa Nadal, but he always does get beaten by Nadal and at least this time he doesn’t have to worry about coming up against the Spaniard. You can back Berdych at 18/1 for success here, and even if you think he may come through his half of the draw but be defeated by Djokovic in the final, it could be worth taking the Czech as an each-way bet at half the odds.
There’s no question that aside from Djokovic, nearly all of the big names in the draw find themselves in the bottom half, meaning that there should be a chance for a lower ranked player to at least make the semis.
Janko Tipsarevic is the man seeded to make the semis in the top half and the Serb should have every chance of doing so. With that in mind, the 250/1 on offer looks like outstanding value and an each-way bet is certainly the way to go here too.
VerdictIf Djokovic wants to make the final here, he really should do, however I’m not convinced enough to take him at 5/4, so Tomas Berdych at 18/1 is my tip for Miami success.