The third round of action from the men’s draw at the Miami Open comes to a close on Monday.
The action has been incredible to this point, with plenty of long sets, long matches and tension-filled moments.
Let’s delve into a pair of matches for Monday’s slate, including Mackenzie McDonald vs Quentin Halys and Hubert Hurkacz vs Adrian Mannarino.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing tennis.
3:30 p.m. ET
If you’re a fan of the relatively new serve-and-push type of game style, then this is the match for you!
After Hurkacz survived a handful of match points in his last match with Thanasi Kokkinakis (with some coming in each of the second and third sets), he’ll take on Mannarino and his tricky southpaw game.
Mannarino outclassed young American Ben Shelton in his second-round tilt, and he could very well grind down Hurkacz too.
These guys can both hit a pretty big first serve – with Hurkacz possessing the ability to find more of those cheap points – and they’re both rock solid from the baseline.
Hurkacz’s lack of a big forehand, combined with Mannarino’s crafty play and incredible stamina, have me believing this one should be closer than the market believes.
The Polish No. 1 also has a tendency to be overvalued by bettors. His record and ranking should earn him a certain amount of respect, but he’s often priced as someone who consistently dominates matches, which simply isn’t the case.
So far in 2023, he has just two wins that were won in straight sets & without a tiebreak at some point in the contest. For someone who can struggle to win by margin and struggled on return, I’m happy to oppose him in a few ways.
Picks: Over 22.5 games (-105 via DraftKings) | 1st Set Over 9.5 Games (-120 via DraftKings)
12:30 p.m. ET
The other match to look at features the American McDonald, as he has a great chance to reach the fourth round in Miami. He’ll be taking on Halys, who got past Alex de Minaur in the previous round.
Halys has done an incredible job since the start of the 2022 season at climbing the rankings to go from a Challenger Tour mainstay, to several-time Challenger Tour champion to ATP Tour regular.
He has done it with a fairly simple plan of attack. Halys has a big first serve and incredible forehand that can win him quick, cheap points and find him consistent holds of serve.
McDonald, by contrast, is a bit more well-rounded. He’s more athletic, a stronger returner and takes the ball early on occasion to take time away from his opponents.
I’m looking to fade Halys in this spot, not only because the spread is off by at least a half game and likely a full game, but also because the 26-year old did not look good in the last round.
Halys snuck past de Minaur in the second round, but he was down a set and 2-5 before de Minaur let him back in it and completely lost the plot on return. Even the opening set that ended 7-6 to the Australian saw de Minaur generate seven times the number of break point chances.
The Frenchman also looked physically drained early on in the second set, consistently moving slowly between points with hunched shoulders while also giving up on points that saw de Minaur hit through an open court.
If an hour of tennis in the humid Miami conditions can do that to him, I’m happy to fade him on the spread here with McDonald.
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