The second round of the ATP Miami Open begins on Friday which means that for the first time this week we get to see the seeded players gracing the many courts that have been installed in and around the Hard Rock Stadium.
That automatically means that the status and profile of the event will be elevated and with some really tasty matches on the card there is a lot to look forward to over the course of the day and into the evening.
We have a total of three matches on the Stadium court on Friday but it is the women who get things underway. When that match is done then the Olympic champion will grace the court for the first time this week when Alexander Zverev takes on a Borna Coric who is looking to build up fitness and confidence after injury. After they are done one of the ties of the second round takes place when the Indian Wells semi-finalist Andrey Rublev takes on an in form Nick Kyrgios. The other men’s match on this court comes in the night session and sees two American players going at it when Frances Tiafoe takes on Brandon Nakashima for the second Masters 1000 event in succession.
The day starts with a men’s match on the Grandstand court and finishes with one with three women’s matches in between on Friday. British eyes will be firmly on this court first up as a rare sighting of two of Britain’s best going at it takes place as the wildcard Jack Draper takes on the number 10 seed Cameron Norrie for a last 32 spot. The final match of the day sees Grigor Dimitrov getting his campaign underway. He meets the American player Mackenzie McDonald for a place in the third round.
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Best of the Rest
There are a whole host of good players and intriguing matches around the grounds on Friday for those who are attending the event or who have the all-court coverage that Amazon Prime and others provide. John Isner headlines the card on the Butch Buchholz court while Reilly Opelka and Gael Monfils are two of the seeded players on show on Court 1. Elsewhere we have Jannik Sinner, Casper Ruud, Pablo Carreno Busta and David Goffin looking to progress.
I’ll go with one over the course of the day although I must admit the Australian pair of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios both tempt me. I might have backed one of them if the price was just a little bit clearer but as it isn’t I’ll save my powder for the night session match between the two American players Frances Tiafoe and Brandon Nakashima where I expect the result to be the same as it was when these two met in Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago.
Tiafoe won on that occasion when he was a bigger outsider than he is here. He subsequently lost to Andrey Rublev in the third round but when you consider that was his first tennis since the Australian Open it was an encouraging week. I expect him to come on for the run here so to speak so I’ve got to think that he is decent value as an outsider once again. Nakashima saw off Soonwoo Kwon to set up this rematch but it should be noted that he went to the Phoenix Challenger after losing to Tiafoe and lost in his first match there. Tiafoe leads the head to head 3-0 and is the better player of the two for me. I think he’s a good price here.
Back F.Tiafoe to beat B.Nakashima for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back him here: