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Murray should lead the big guns untroubled into last eight

| 24.03.2014

The Sony Open is hotting up in Miami with all the big names in the men’s draw taking their place in the round-of-16. Below are previews of four of the key matches with half of the world’s top-ten in action.

Andy Murray to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2-0 @ 10/11

Andy Murray finally looks ready to get back into the winners’ enclosure and supporters of the Scot can fully expect him to frank his dominant record against round-of-16 opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The fact that Murray felt he had to split from the coach that helped him to his first and only Grand Slams says everything about how the 26-year-old felt his year was going but there was clear evidence in his last match that he is nearing his best again.

Although the Wimbledon champion had beaten Feliciano Lopez in all eight of their previous encounters it was still impressive the way he routed the Spaniard in the second set and he looks set to go far in an event he clearly loves.

Murray arrived in Miami as the defending champion after falling at the final hurdle in 2012 when attempting to reclaim the crown he won for the first time in 2009.

And his opponent will need to address an intimidating head-to-head record to halt his progress with Tsonga failing to beat Murray in a competitive match since the Australian Open six years ago.

The Frenchman hasn’t enjoyed the best start to a campaign either despite reaching the final in Marseille and the fact he had to wait until the 12th game of the third set to get on top against Marcos Baghdatis in the last round is a concern.

Tsonga did actually beat Murray when they last saw each other at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi but nothing should be read in to that and the advice is to invest in the favourite winning inside the minimum distance of which he has been able to do in five of their last seven games played over best-of-three sets.

Roger Federer to beat Richard Gasquet 2-0 @ 1/3

In the other standout game of the night it’s impossible to look past Roger Federer also confirming his superiority over Richard Gasquet.

In their 11 meetings Gasquet has only managed to beat the great man twice – both times on clay – and with the Swiss maestro currently making a mockery of his quotes for the Grand Slams nothing suggests an upset is around the corner.

In his last six victories against the world number nine, Federer hasn’t dropped a set and backing a continuation of that sequence appears the best approach.

Novak Djokovic to beat Tommy Robredo 2-0 @ 1/6

Three-time winner Novak Djokovic looks focused on making it four this week and is understandably short to see off evergreen Tommy Robredo having overcome the Spaniard every time they have met since the first nine years ago.

A lot has changed since then and the score will probably resemble the 6-1, 6-1 posted by Nole when they last met.

David Ferrer to beat Kei Nishikori 2-0 @ Evens

Finally, the match between David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori is by far the closest of the quartet but it’s still very difficult to get away from the chances of the favourite.

Both players have won titles this term and have already posted great results this week, however, the Spaniard hasn’t lost a set in the last five they have played and each time he has emerged victorious it has been in straight sets.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster