Sony Ericsson Open, Miami – Saturday

15:00 – Stakhovsky v Monaco

Rankings are 36 and 35.  They haven’t played before.

Stakhovsky has a better record on hard courts over the last 3 months with 7 wins from 11. Monaco has just 1 win from 4. The courts in Miami are a little on the slow side which can work in favour of claycourt specialists such as Monaco.

On hard courts in the last 3 months the players held serve 77% and 58% respectively. Stats for return of serve are very similar.

Stakhovsky is very much a confidence player. If he loses his confidence he can be almost embarrassing to watch but at the moment his confidence should be pretty good. He has been winning regularly including in the Davis Cup and despite the fact that the wins perhaps should have been easier than they were winning can become a habit just like losing can.

Monaco lost his only recent hard court match which was at Indian Wells and was against Sweeting.  His previous 10 matches were on clay.

Stakhovsky’s serve seemed to be in good shape yesterday. His game is much better suited to hard courts.

Stak starts at 1.72 on Betfair which is generous as long as he continues his form of yesterday. I will be backing him from the start with half stake to take advantage of an early break. I will back him on serve with the other half.

Update: Not his best day. Stakhovsky couldn’t continue the good form.

Monaco won 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.



21:00 – Tipsarevic v Cilic

Rankings are 44 and 20. Head to heads are 5-0 to Cilic. Of the 14 sets they have played Cilic has won 11 of them and all matches were played on hard courts.

Over the last 3 months their stats are remarkably similar. Serves were held 86%. They both won 11 from 17 matches. They both win 28% of points against first serves. Tipsarevic wins slightly more points against second serves.

Both player have recently reached tournament finals, Tipsarevic at Delray Beach and Cilic at Marseille.

With their stats so close and both serving well you would expect their matches to have been closer than they were. There have only been 2 tie breaks in 14 sets and both were won by Cilic.

Its hard to go against a 5-0 head to head. Cilic appears to know what it takes to beat Tipsarevic.

I’ll be backing him from the start and looking  to green up after the first set. With Tipsarevic’s recent form I think he will take it to 3 sets so if the first set is close lay the set winner.

Update: What an awful match! Both were making so many unforced errors that it was difficult to pick the least worst player! Not much else to say.

Tipsarevic won 6-3, 7-6.

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