The Miami Open will pick up the pace over the weekend as the seeded players begin to compete in the Round of 64.
There are some tantalizing matchups scheduled for the next couple of days, but one of the most intriguing showdowns will pit American J.J. Wolf against World No. 7 Andrey Rublev on Friday.
Rublev, as you’d expect, is a sizable favorite at -390.
J.J. Wolf vs. Andrey Rublev pick: J.J. Wolf (+290)
(11 a.m. Eastern)
Rublev is certainly a deserving favorite in this match, but there are some reasons to believe that Wolf can give the Russian some issues this week.
For one thing, Rublev has played a ton of tennis all over the world this year.
The 27-year-old went to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, then lost in Round 1 in Rotterdam before heading to the Persian Gulf for a pair of events, one of which saw him make a run to the finals.
From there, Rublev flew across the globe to Indian Wells, where he lost to Cam Norrie in the Round of 16.
Wolf, too, has been active since making a run to the fourth round in Melbourne, but this is his fifth consecutive tournament in the confines of North America.
The Cincinnati native hasn’t strung together a significant run of form yet, but he should be enjoy the conditions in Miami, where the speed of the court could amplify his already powerful serve.
On the other hand, Miami hasn’t really been a happy hunting ground for Rublev.
The No. 6 seed has played this event seven times, but he hasn’t stuck around long in most of those trips.
Rublev has made it past the second round twice and on one of those occasions he was bounced in the third round.
He did make the semifinals in 2021, but it is certainly not among the best fits for Rublev on tour.
Wolf’s serve and shot-making ability should open the path for him to win some easy, cheap points and keep pace with Rublev, who to his credit has dealt with some tough draws of late.
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This is certainly another one, as Wolf is among the more dangerous unseeded players in this event.
Rublev is the likely winner, but these odds are a bit too wide and Wolf has some value at a nice price in front of an American crowd on Friday.
J.J. Wolf vs. Andrey Rublev prediction
J.J. Wolf (+280, FanDuel)