Sebastian Korda returns a shot from Fabio Fognini, of Italy, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
- The top seeds are massive favorites for Tuesday’s round of 16 men’s matches at the Miami Open
- Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Rublev are expected to win easily against much lower-ranked opponents
- We break down the odds and predict some surprise quarterfinalists
A Masters 1000 tournament without Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer (a first since 2005) will produce some surprises, and some opportunity.
For the top three favorites going into the Miami Open, it’s been smooth sailing and is expected to be the same Tuesday in the round of 16.
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ATP Miami Open Round of 16 Odds
|Matchup||Odds from DraftKings|
| Daniil Medvedev vs. Frances Tiafoe||-670 / +460|
| Stefanos Tsitsipas vs.  Lorenzo Sonego||-715 / +500|
| Andrey Rublev vs. Marin Cilic||-910 / +600|
| Diego Schwartzman vs Sebastian Korda||-157 / +125|
| Roberto Bautista Agut vs.  John Isner||-190 / +150|
| Milos Raonic vs  Hubert Hurkacz||-278 / +220|
| Jannik Sinner vs. Emil Ruusuvuori||-250 / +200|
| Taylor Fritz vs.  Alexander Bublik||-230 / +180|
Odds as of Mar 30
Taylor Fritz vs Alexander Bublik Prediction
The American Taylor Fritz and the Kazakh Alexander Bublik have much in common.
Both were born in 1997 (Bublik is four months younger). Both are tall and rangy. And neither had to face a seed to get to the final 16.
But the resemblance ends there as Fritz’s career bloomed much earlier, and is the steadier performer.
Both have started the season well; Fritz is 9-4 so far in 2021; Bublik is 14-7.
But Bublik is 2-0 against Fritz in their careers.
Even though it’s in Fritz’s home country, it’s not on his turf as he’s a born-and-bred southern Californian.
And there probably is something in Bublik’s slightly off-the-wall demeanor (he’s the master of the underarm serve) that upsets Fritz’s zen on a tennis court.
The thinned-out draw this year in Miami has been a great opportunity for someone like Bublik, who is undeniably talented if rather erratic.
Before this week, he had played in 11 Masters 1000 tournaments and was 1-5 in the main draw. His only win had come in the first round of Miami in 2019.
Best Bet: Bublik in three sets (+295)
Diego Schwartzman vs Sebastian Korda Prediction
Sebastian Korda is another player benefiting greatly from the sparser field in Miami this year.
He was able to get straight into the draw without having to qualify. But the draw did him no favors. He got through veteran Radu Albot. He then upset No. 10 Fabio Fognini in three sets after dropping the first set 6-1.
And then, he easily handled 2021 sensation Aslan Karatsev, who admittedly may have hit the wall after a heady two months of winning and traveling.
But this could be Korda’s second big Florida breakout moment. Ranked No. 119 to start the season, he didn’t play the Australian Open qualifying. Instead, he stayed home in Florida. And then he reached the final of the Delray Beach event in January. He is stepping up.
Last time I was at the @MiamiOpen @andyroddick 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/XbJC6LCkln
— Sebastian Korda (@SebiKorda) March 26, 2021
Korda will already rise some 10 spots with his work this week; if he beats Diego Schwartzman, he could find himself in the top 65 the same week he won his first career main-draw match at the Masters 1000 level.
Schwartzman is a reliable customer, a sold top-10 player on the basis of his grit and his legs.
But until this year, he’d never done well in Miami. And unlike other years, he won’t be able to draw on a reliably vocal and supporting south Florida Argentine crowd to help him through.
The two are meeting for the first time.
Best Bet: Korda (+125); in three sets (+430)
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Milos Raonic vs Hubert Hurkacz prediction
This is the first matchup between the two 6-5 players.
And, as with others, this is a great opportunity for both at the Masters 1000 level.
Milos Raonic, who was right behind the top young ATP stars in the odds going in, has looked very good this week, and he has some solid priors in Miami.
Plus, you rarely see him affected by hot, tough weather conditions.
Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6(6) Denis Shapovalov 🔥
GREAT REVENGE BY HUBI! 💪
It was 6th match in a row, & also 11th & 12th set in a row, won by Hubert in the USA in singles. Amazing record. 😍🔥 Next opponent: Milos Raonic. 🎾
COME ON! 💪🔥😍#ComeOnHubert #TeamHH #Miami #Hubi pic.twitter.com/e2uopIYCAl
— Hubert Hurkacz Fan Club (@HubertHurkaczFC) March 29, 2021
It could come down to tiebreaks. And even though both are big servers, Raonic plays a lot more of them.
He’s a rather pedestrian (for him) 13-12 in tiebreaks since the beginning of 2020; Hubert Hurkacz is 8-5. And Hurkacz’s record in the US has been very good.
Best Bet: Raonic in three sets (+290)
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Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.