ATP Miami Open Day 5 Predictions Including Jannik Sinner vs Karen Khachanov

James Duckworth in action at the ATP Miami Open.

After an entertaining start to the week at the ATP Miami Open, the action is set to continue on day five with eight third-round matches on the slate in Florida. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Daniil Medvedev vs Alexei Popyrin. But who will reach the last 16?

ATP Miami Open Day Five Predictions

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs John Isner

Head-to-head: Isner 1-0 Auger-Aliassime

John Isner’s win over Mackenzie McDonald was one the American very much needed. After choosing not to travel to Melbourne for the Australian Open, Isner had arrived at the ATP Miami Open with just two wins to his name in 2021, but, despite making a slow start to the match, he was able to overpower his compatriot to record a 2-6 6-3 7-5 win. However, he looks likely to have his work cut out for him when he steps on to court to face Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Canadian has put together a broadly impressive start to the season, reaching the final at the ATP Murray River Open and the fourth round at the Australian Open. He opened his campaign in Miami with a convincing 6-4 6-4 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert and he will surely be full of confidence. He did lose his only previous meeting with Isner, at this tournament in 2019, but he has improved in the interim whilst Isner’s powers have waned. Expect the Canadian’s power and athleticism to give him the edge.

Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
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Jannik Sinner vs Karen Khachanov

Head-to-head: Sinner 1-1 Khachanov

This should be some match if their last two contests are anything to go by. Their first came at the US Open last season, where Karen Khachanov rallied from two-sets down to win in five, a defeat that Jannik Sinner avenged earlier this season with a 7-6 4-6 7-6 win at the ATP Great Ocean Road Open in the semifinals. The Italian went on to win the title there and he has impressed through the early weeks of 2021 and arrived in Miami having made back-to-back quarterfinals in Doha and Dubai.

Khachanov is not in quite such good form, although he did reach the last eight in Rotterdam and at the Open 13 in Marseille. He started his week in Miami with a 6-3 6-2 win over Jannik Hanfmann. Like their previous matches, this contest could go either way, but Khachanov may be able to carve out a narrow advantage in the baseline exchanges. The reason is that he boasts marginally more power than Sinner and hits the ball with more topspin, which should be rewarded on the bouncy Miami courts.

Prediction: Khachanov in 3
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Emil Ruusuvuori vs Mikael Ymer

Head-to-head: first meeting

This is a big opportunity for both men to reach the fourth round in Miami, which would earn them a valuable 90 ranking points and $40,000 in prize money. But it is Emil Ruusuvuori who is the favourite heading into the match. The Finn opened his campaign by accounting for fellow young gun Carlos Alcaraz Garfia after a three-set battle, before recovering from losing the first set to stun third seed Alexander Zverev, 1-6 6-3 6-1.

Mikael Ymer’s chances should not be entirely discounted, however. The Swede looked sharp in getting the better of Alejandro Tabilo in straight-sets in the first round and he then battled past recent Doha champion Nikoloz Basilashvili. But although Ymer covers the court almost as well as anyone on the ATP Tour, he still lacks a reliable weapon to step in and dictate with. Ruusuvuori, in contrast, has proven able to do damage with both his forehand and backhand. That should be the difference here.

Prediction: Ruusuvuori in 3
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Alexander Bublik vs James Duckworth

Head-to-head: firsts meeting

It has been some week so far for James Duckworth. The Australian deserves enormous credit for how hard he has worked to resurrect his career after a succession of injuries and he is reaping the reward for that effort at the ATP Miami Open. Duckworth, ranked 104th in the world, began his tournament with a hard-fought 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Mischa Zverev, a victory he completed with an excellent sliced backhand winner up the line, before thrashing eighth seed David Goffin 6-3 6-1.

But he faces what looks likely to be a tough day at the office up against Alexander Bublik. The Kazakh proved too strong for Laslo Djere in the second round in Miami, beating the Serb 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round in Miami for the first time in his career. His big serve and soft touch in the forecourt were well-rewarded in that match and should prove to be valuable weapons once again when he takes on Duckworth. Expect him to have enough to account for the Australian.

Prediction: Bublik in 2

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