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Week Ahead: Carlos Alcaraz hard to oppose in Miami

Attention in the tennis world will soon turn to European clay but, for now, all eyes remain set on the United States and the second leg of the Sunshine Double, the Miami Open.

The WTA event began on Tuesday at the Hard Rock Stadium this week and the third round is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, while the ATP tournament started on Wednesday with the third round set to be played over the next two days.

WhatATP Miami Open
WhereHard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
WhenTournament continues: 16:00, Sunday 26th March
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming & Amazon Prime Video

ATP big guns stand their ground but British hopes end

The top seeds in the ATP Miami Open have all played one match and the majority of the big guns remain in the draw heading into the second week with some tantalising ties in prospect.

Defending champion and Indian Wells winner Carlos Alcaraz returned to the top of the world rankings to start the week and the 19-year-old Spaniard had no issues in his opener with Facundo Bagnis, thrashing the Argentinian 6-0 6-2 on Friday.

Alcaraz is 11/8 To Win Outright the Miami title, sealing a calendar-year Sunshine Double in the process, and he's just 1/33 to defeat Dusan Lajovic in Sunday's third-round contest.

Alcaraz's Indian Wells final opponent Daniil Medvedev was equally impressive in his opening win over Roberto Carballes Baena, while Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas have all progressed.

British interest, however, was short-lived as Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund exited in the first round while seeded pair Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie both fell in their second-round matches.

Can anyone stop an Alcaraz double?

With Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal absent, a new star has emerged with the potential to become the dominant force in men's tennis and punters have to work out whether Alcaraz can be stopped this week.

The Spaniard is the one to beat on paper and he was impressive at Indian Wells, but quicker conditions in Miami should at least offer hope to his rivals.

Medvedev is the obvious challenger and he's 15/8 to win the Miami title but the 27-year-old's busy schedule appeared to be catching up with him in California as he failed to land a glove on Alcaraz in the Indian Wells final.

There is a lot to like about the chances of Sinner. The Italian reached the Miami Open final on debut in 2021, losing out to Hubert Hurkacz, and he was closing in on a repeat last season before injury intervened in his quarter-final clash with Francisco Cerundolo.

Sinner is 15/2 to claim his first Masters 1000 title and 1/4 to defeat Grigor Dimitrov in the third round before a likely fourth-round clash with Andrey Rublev.

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Swiatek withdrawal makes Rybakina the one to beat

WhatWTA Miami Open
WhereHard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
WhenTournament continues: 16:00, Sunday 26th March
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming & Amazon Prime Video

The WTA Miami Open was blown wide open earlier in the week when world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek withdrew from the tournament due to a rib injury which she sustained at Indian Wells.

Despite losing 1000 ranking points, Swiatek's decision will not change her status as the WTA top dog, although it does open the door for Australian Open champion and Indian Wells runner-up Aryna Sabalenka to close the gap at the top if she claims the Miami title.

Sabalenka, who faces Marie Bouzkova on Sunday evening for a spot in the fourth round, is 4/1 To Win Outright the title with Sunshine Double-chasing Elena Rybakina the 5/2 favourite.

The Kazakhstani has picked up where she left off in Indian Wells but she did need three sets to defeat both Anna Kalinsyaka and Paula Badosa on the way to the last 16.

Dangers lurking in wide-open WTA draw

The WTA Miami outright betting suggests that the top-class trio of Rybakina, Sabalenka and 15/4 shot Jessica Pegula will fight it out for the final hard-court event of the spring schedule.

All three have chances but there are dangers lurking with Rybakina on a collision course for a quarter-final clash with Jelena Ostapenko, who came through a fiery third-round clash with Beatriz Haddad Maia on Saturday, branding the pro-Brazilian crowd as "disrespectful" in her post-match interview.

Rybakina faces a tough fourth-round clash with Elise Mertens on Monday, for which she is a 2/7 shot, before taking on either Ostapenko or Italian Martina Trevisan ahead of a potential semi-final against Pegula.

Sabalenka is just 1/7 to defeat Bouzkova on Sunday night and victory over the Czech would tee up a blockbuster fourth-round clash with one of Barbora Krejcikova or Madison Keys.

Sabalenka is the leading candidate to reach the final from the bottom half of the draw while the third quarter remains wide open with Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitova and Bianca Andreescu among those vying to go deep in South Florida.

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