Miami QF previews and picks: Djokovic vs. Berdych, Goffin vs. Simon

Novak Djokovic will continue his Miami campaign against Tomas Berdych on Wednesday. David Goffin and Gilles Simon are also aiming for a place in the final four.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (7) Tomas Berdych

One of the most lopsided rivalries in tennis will be renewed when Djokovic and Berdych collide for the 25th time in their careers during quarterfinal action at the Miami Open on Wednesday night. Djokovic is dominating the head-to-head series 22-2, including 19-0 on hard courts. The world No. 1 has taken seven consecutive sets from Berdych after most recently getting the job done 6-3, 7-6(3) two months ago in the Doha semifinals. Their only previous Miami meeting came seven years ago, with the Serb rolling 6-3, 6-2.

Amazingly enough, Djokovic is on pace to compile an even better record than he did in 2015 (82-6). The reigning Australian Open champion–not to mention Wimbledon and the U.S. Open–is 25-1 and has not lost a single match by anything other than retirement (against Feliciano Lopez in Dubai). So far in Miami the top seed has defeated Kyle Edmund, Joao Sousa, and Dominic Thiem in straight sets. Berdych has advanced with three-set wins over Steve Johnson and Richard Gasquet in addition to a walkover from Rajeev Ram. The seventh-ranked Czech was absolutely exhausted after grueling efforts against both Johnson and Gasquet. Even at 100 percent, this would be a borderline impossible task for Berdych. Based on what has transpired so far at this tournament, it may not even be competitive.

Pick: Djokovic in 2

(15) David Goffin vs. (18) Gilles Simon

Something will have to give when two in-form and strikingly similar competitors go head-to-head for just the second time in their careers on Wednesday. Goffin and Simon previously faced each other last summer on the grass courts of Queen’s Club, where the Frenchman prevailed 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2. Although slight in stature, Goffin and Simon are extremely solid ball-strikers who play great defense and wield dangerous two-handed backhands.
Goffin 1
Simon has been nowhere near as consistent as Goffin this season, but the world No. 18 appears to be heating up. He has bounced back from a third-round Indian Wells loss to Alexander Zverev with victories in Miami over Juan Monaco, Marin Cilic, and Lucas Pouille. Simon destroyed his inexperienced compatriot 6-0, 6-1 on Tuesday afternoon. Goffin is now through to consecutive Masters 1000 quarterfinals (he reached the semis in Indian Wells), having previously reached only one such quarterfinal in his entire career (Rome last spring). The 15th-ranked Belgian punched his ticket to the last eight by knocking off Marcel Granollers, Viktor Troicki, and Horacio Zeballos in straight sets. An ever-so-slight edge may go to Goffin, who has conserved energy through three routine matches and is quite simply playing the best tennis of his career.

Pick: Goffin in 3

35 Comments on Miami QF previews and picks: Djokovic vs. Berdych, Goffin vs. Simon

  1. Novak vs Berdych. Novak in 2 in a match nobody wants to watch.

    Goffin vs Simon. Two of my favorite players going head to head. Really hard to see one of them lose. Its going to be Simon losing tomorrow. I am not sure why Vegas has this match at even odds. They have very similar game styles with Simon being a little better defensively and Goffin can attack better. They are both consistent as they come, so the big difference is going to be who is going to attack. Goffins’s down the line backhand is better than Simon’s, and that will be the difference. He will be able to push Simon back deeper in the court and finish points. I don’t Simon being able to hit through or outlast Goffin. Simon wont the matches he should have won this week. Goffin is playing the best of his career. Goffin in 2

    • you’re not sure why Vegas has it at even odds? This may be the most 50-50 match of the entire year.

      and it’s going to be GREAT

      • Goffin is slightly favored by implied odds at Vegas: about 52.5%-47.5% by Vegas. Obviously very slight but 5% is still pretty significant.

        Very interestingly, I definitely remember last year at Wimbledon checking the betting odds before both matches that Fed was pretty much exactly 50-50 against both Murray in the SF and Djokovic in the F, even though the players were completely different. Much Smaller than the 5% edge Goffin has on Simon tommorow.

      • I think Vegas had this one wrong. No way Goffin was losing today.
        Playing way out of Simon’s league. Goffin started poor which tends to happen with him. but found his game

  2. Nole and Simon in 3.

    I saw Goffin vs Wawrinka last week and even though Goffin won it was one of the most mentally fragile displays I have seen ! Nevertheless he pulled it together to win the match. He can’t afford to do that against Simon.
    Simon has played quite well in Miami and his match against Pouille was particularly impressive. If this does go to 3 sets then I can’t see Simon losing it as I feel Goffin can’t outlast him !

  3. Goffin turns into a potted plant v Federer. Maybe that happened vs Stan too? Didn’t see that match.

    I’m surprised Pouille got a game after his work out with Ferrer.

    All that said, I’m hoping for a 3 set squeaker between two of my favorite atp players.
    I can’t decide for a vote.

  4. This match has all the making of a 3-setter. If it goes to three then it could go either way unless Goffin gets his wayward error count under control.

  5. Just tuned in. Glad to see the match is still going on. Gillou up a set…
    Goffin gets a break and holds. Tough, tough hold. Would be better if Goffin could break Gillou again and get the 2nd set that way. Ultimately think I’d like Gillou to win, tho.

  6. Can he do break? ? he does…
    Almost an ace! And repeats it. Where did this serving come from? Back to earth but a nice hold. 3-0 Goffin

    • II think the perm chemicals have gotten to Gillou. They should be added to the banned substances list for performance reducing.

      • Nice curls on Gillou.
        Goffin is doing the frustrating. Goffin lob! winner.

        Oh #$%&..shank – Simon loses serve again.

        Goffin serving for the match …

      • Ha, ha. Nostradamus. You’re just cross with him for ruining your prediction.

        He has naturally curly hair! You may not have noticed because he has worn it a lot shorter since circa 2010. Granted the colour could be due to Grecian 2000 🙂

  7. I only saw the first set and now I come here to find out that Simon lost? I don’t believe it!

  8. Goffin looked great in IW (I was at his thrilling comeback vs Tiafoe!), and he should take down Simon, who’s also playing great….and Joker in a routine 2 sets.

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