Djokovic vs Isner by Rostick
After playing arguably the best tennis of his career this season, Djokovic has looked a little bit shaky here in Miami. He lost sets to Klizan and Dolgopolov and he had a very tough match with Ferrer the other night – a 7-5 7-5 win in which Nole should have lost another set, but somehow pulled it off in two. Djokovic had uncharacteristic periods of blackout in matches, dropping his level, but in the end he always came back strong to get the job done. However, he`s expected to increase his level in the semifinald.
I don`t recall the last time i saw Isner playing so well as he did this week – especially yesterday he was simply breathtaking against Nishikori, winning 6-4 6-3 and never giving a chance to the Japanese – though it`s true that Nishikori underperformed. Brad Gilbert said he never saw the big fella playing so good for a whole match. Isner also defeated Rublev, Dimitrov and Raonic this week, losing just one set (to Raonic). The most impressive fact about Isner is that he did not lose serve a single time here in Miami, which is absolutely incredible considering the opposition he faced. Further more, Isner lost serve just one time in the last 7 matches.
The Head 2 Head is 6-2 for Djokovic (5-2 on hard) and the Serbian won the last three meetings, including 6-4 7-6 in Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago. However, it`s well known that Djokovic struggles with the matchup against Isner’s big serve and the matches between the two have always been close. There was a tiebreak in each of the 8 meetings and 7 of them went over 23 games.
Isner is serving lights out and knowing how his serve bothers Djokovic, the American has a real chance here. Djokovic defeated Isner with 3 games difference two weeks ago, when Nole was playing better, Isner was playing worse and the surface was a bit slower. No match is similar to the other, but taking all facts into account, it`s only normal to expect a close one here.
My tip is over 23 games to be played – the danger here seems to be a 7-6 6-3 Djokovic win, but there`s not a bet without risk. I expect it to actually go to three sets due to the Head 2 Head and Isner’s amazing form, coupled with Nole’s slight apathy. If you`re looking for better value, a first set tiebreak or Isner +1,5 sets (maybe even an Isner win) could also be good investments. I had some high stakes bets in the last few days so I should cool it down, but not today – this one is well deserving of 9 units as far as I`m concerned. Prediction: Novak Djokovic – John Isner 6-7 7-6 6-4.
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|over 23 games||Pinnacle||1.79||9||2-0 LOST (-9 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.