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Roddick and Berdych Battle for the Miami Masters Title

Andy Roddick and Tomas Berdych have negotiated a premier position in the Miami Masters final on Sunday, the prestigious title on the line.

Roddick is through to his second consecutive Masters final. A fortnight ago, Roddick was denied a Masters Shield in Indian Wells by Ljubicic in straight, tight, sets. Roddick had been bidding for his fifth career Masters Shield, and first since Cincinnati (2006).

He has earned a second shot in as much time and the tipping question is whether this time he will indeed come through on his favourite odds (Ljubicic’s victory was an upset, causing seismic shockwaves in tennis betting communities worldwide, not to mention the fact it turned markets on their heads).

Birdie is through to his first Masters final since the Paris Masters in 2005 when he beat, ironically, Ivan Ljubicic, in five scintillating sets 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4 (Masters are no longer played to the best of three sets). Berdych has thrice reached the semis of a Masters since – Madrid (2006) and Monte Carlo (2007) and Miami (2008) – but up to this point a second career Masters Shield has eluded him. Where he is concerned, the tipping question is whether he will punch above his weight class?

Roddick enters this match as the 1/2 favourite while Berdych is the 6/4 puppy.

Berdych is only a mere puppy at 6/4, therefore, he does have a reasonable shot at the upset. What makes him a tempting play is the fact that he has been playing sensational tennis this week (heck through March), and beat three top players in Federer (the biggest upset of the Miami tournament), Verdasco and Soderling. That he backed up his win over Federer with wins over Verdasco and Soderling to reach the Miami Masters final only makes him that much more attractive a play in the market.

Whichever way you slice this match there is going to be value. On paper, Roddick has the edge. He has home strength to draw from as well as a convincing head-to-head over Berdych. There is also the fact that his disappointment in Indian Wells hasn’t deterred him or slowed him down. No, if anything, it seems to have motivated him further.

Berdych though is held to be the most organically talented player on the Tour, second only to Federer in talent alone. Problem is he hasn’t lived up to that compliment. Will he finally come of age? Will Miami be a watershed moment?

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