The action continues in the desert the bottom quarter has thrown up some amazing matchups. Djkovic meets the man that beat him at the Rio Olympics, Aussie Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev meet in the battle of the rising stars, Federer takes on the player with the most ever wins in college tennis while Nadal and Verdasco meet in the battle of the Spaniards.
Rafael Nadal v Fernando Verdasco
They have shared great memories as Davis Cup team mates and been involved in some epic battles as foes. Nadal held a flawless 14-0 record in this matchup but it is Verdasco who has won 3 of the last 5 between them. Their last meeting was coincidentally here a year ago, with Rafa getting the better of his countryman. Nadal has had a great start to the season making the finals of the Australian Open and if form is anything to go by we are in for a treat. Both men are coming of finals appearances last week with Nadal finishing runner-up to Querrey in Acapulco and Verdasco coming up short in the Dubai final to Murray. Verdasco wil put up a huge fight in this one!
Best Bet: Over 21.5 games ($1.91)
Nick Kyrgios v Alexander Zverev
If they can fulfill their potential, Kyrgios and Zverev are two names that will be entrenched at the top of men’s tennis for the next decade. It was just last week that we saw Kyrgios beat Djokovic but he was unable to back it up in the semi’s against Querrey. Meanwhile, Zverev won his second career title in Montpellier last month beating Tsonga and Gasquet along the way. Kyrgios has a slight edge in power but Zverev has a superior backhand and is the more consistent hitter of the two. Big serves and forehand winners will be the theme in a matches that is destined to have multiple tiebreakers.
Best Bet: Over 23.5 games ($2.00)
Steve Johnson v Roger Federer
This will be a real test for Johnson. He showed plenty of fight in the win over Anderson and has blossomed on the tour over the last 12 months – finally bringing his collegiate success to the main tour. He has the most wins in college history and will forever be a legend at USC. Federer takes legend to another level. He cemented his status at the GOAT by winning the Aus Open and looked very comfortable as he blew Robert off the court in his first match here. Federer beat Johnson in straight sets at Wimbledon last year and The Wolf says he will expose Johnson’s great weakness – his backhand. We have seen the American make an array of errors when frustrated and we are set to see him make a heap in this one.
Best Bet: Federer -4.5 ($1.73)
Juan Martin Del Potro v Novak Djokovic
Their opening round match in Rio was one of the highlights of the Olympics as Del Potro showed that he can still mix it with the best of them. The Argentine’s return to the top of men’s tennis has continued since. He won his first title in almost 3 years in Stockholm late last year and is back into the top 40. He will continue to rise in the rankings and will continue to be a nightmare matchup early in the draw of major tournaments. Djokovic got the better of him in a tough three setter in Acapulco last week but the match will have filled Del Potro with plenty of confidence. He was right in that match and simply failed to convert his break point opportunities. the Wolf cannot see Novak breaking his serve 5 times again here. Djokovic has a fabulous record here but will have to be at his best as Del Potro will be swinging freely. Djoka in three.
Best Bet: Sets Djokovic 2-1 ($4.00)
|Pouille v Young||Sets Pouille 2-0 ($2.00)|
|Muller v Nishikori||1st Set Correct Score 7-6 ($3.90)|
|Nadal v Verdasco||Over 21.5 games ($1.91)|
|Fritz v Jaziri||Fritz WIN ($1.57)|
|Kyrgios v Zverev||Over 23.5 games ($2.00)|
|Johnson v Federer||Federer -4.5 ($1.73)|
|Sock v Dimitrov||Dimitrov -2.5 ($1.85)|
|Del Potro v Djokovic||Sets Djokovic 2-1 ($4.00)|