If we are being honest, there aren’t that many tennis tournaments outside of the four majors to get all that excited about during the long season. However, one of the marquee events outside of the Grand Slams is the Miami Open as it hosts both the men and the women in glamorous South Florida. Let’s dive into the 2018 Miami Open betting preview on both the men’s and women’s side, with the event starting Monday, and of course, you can check the most recent tennis odds for every match.
2018 ATP & WTA Miami Open Betting Preview & Predictions
The Miami Open is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. Other than the four Slams, the Miami Open is one of the few events on the ATP and WTA tours where the main singles draw on both sides involves more than 64 players, and where main draw play extends beyond one week. In 2006, the tournament became the first event in the United States to use Hawk-Eye to allow players to challenge close line calls. It’s also a rare event where both the men and women play best of three sets. Most tournaments feature best of five for the men. The last best of five set final was won by Roger Federer in 2006.
This is the last year that the Miami Open is played at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, where it has enjoyed a 32-year run. The event will be moving to Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dolphins, starting in 2019. The new Miami Open will have 30 show and practice courts. The centerpiece of the move will be a new Center Court, which will showcase a 14,000-seat stadium within Hard Rock Stadium.
2018 Miami Open Betting Favorites
Federer is the betting favorite and also the defending champion, winning for the third time in 2017. He beat long-time rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4. In the second set, Nadal claimed two of the first three games. After more back-and-forth play, Nadal took the seventh game to go up 4-3. Federer answered with three straight victories again to take the set and the match. Nadal dropped to 0-5 in the finals of the tournament, and his 13 appearances in Miami are the most without winning the title. Incidentally, the first-ever Nadal-Federer match was in Miami. In 2004, a 17-year-old Nadal beat the 22-year-old Federer in their first contest.
Federer, as top seed this year in Miami, will earn a bye in the first round. Marin Cilic is the second seed. Nadal isn’t playing this year. He hasn’t since exiting the Australian Open with a hip injury. The Spaniard has also had to withdraw from the Acapulco Open and Indian Wells. He’s trying to get 100 percent for the clay-court season; he’s the greatest clay court player ever and favored to win yet another French Open title in May. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are also out injured.
Roger, who has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles, will once again be up against a stacked field in Key Biscayne. The Miami Open is mandatory for the top players on the ATP and WTA tours unless they are injured or meet specific criteria about the number of tournaments or Grand Slam victories. Also in the field are former No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro. Djokovic has won this tournament a record six times, most recently in 2016.
Federer has reached an amazing 147 finals on the ATP Tour overall. He just passed Ivan Lendl for the second place on the list with the most ATP finals in the Open era. Jimmy Connors is the leader with 164. Connors also holds the record with 109 overall titles. Both those records should fall no later than 2019 as long as Federer stays healthy.
Rod Laver and Djokovic are the only two men ever to achieve the feat of reaching every Grand Slam final, with Federer having only been denied a Calendar Grand Slam — the achievement of winning all four titles in one year — by Nadal, losing in the French Open final. Federer has only won the French once.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams, who has won a record eight Miami Open singles titles, was granted a wildcard into the 2018 tournament. Following her Open Era record 23rd career Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open, Williams missed the remainder of the season while preparing for the birth of her daughter.
Serena has won the tournament a record eight times. The women’s side did lose Maria Sharapova as she pulled out Friday because of a left forearm injury. She’ll be replaced in the main draw by American Jennifer Brady.
Expert 2018 Miami Open Betting Predictions
I see no reason not to go chalk here and take Federer. He’s playing some of the best tennis of his career at 36. Serena will win again on the women’s side.