Day 3 at the WTA Miami Open brings in some of the big guns in the women’s draw. The top seeds will want to lay down a marker for their ambitions in their opening matches whilst also wanting to conserve energy for a deep run. Four of the matches on Day 3 are previewed in this article.
We also have predictions for the rest of the Day 3 matches, across three other articles. One features Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia, Kirsten Flipkens vs Jelena Ostapenko, and the last features Coco Gauff vs Anastasija Sevastova.
WTA Miami Open Day 3 Predictions
Angelique Kerber vs Renata Zarazua
I had to have a little chuckle to myself when researching this match. The last 12 months stats for the pair read slightly differently. The German three-time Grand Slam Champion has a win-loss record of 6-7, whereas Zarazua’s equivalent record is 75-17. This is largely down to Zarazua’s decision to regularly play in the US Pro Tennis series that continued to offer tennis whilst the main tours were down. The standard of those matches is somewhat suspect, but enabled the Mexican to keep working and improving. However, Kerber is a class of opponent that Zarazua has rarely faced. It will be a close match but despite a noticeable downturn in form over recent years the German should still possess enough class and consistency to win this one.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
Veronika Kudermetova vs Danielle Collins
This pair have been close in the rankings over the last two years or so and at the moment it is the Russian who just scrapes into the top 32 seeds. No doubt she would’ve hoped for an easier draw than facing Collins first up. The American loves playing on home Decoturf with a higher win rate in the States (63%) than her career average. This ramps up to a very impressive 9-2 win-loss record in Miami, mostly due to a run to the semifinals in 2018 as a qualifier. This form combined with Kudermetova’s recent record of losing four of her last five on hard courts means that the American must be fancied to qualify here.
Prediction: Collins in 2
Madison Keys vs Ana Konjuh
Keys remains an enigma in women’s tennis. The American at her best is still one of the most explosive and intimidating talents on the court, but that power game is rarely seen under control at the moment. She has played only eleven matches in a year, winning just six. Konjuh is slowly returning from a long absence in tennis but is beginning to show glimmers of her former self. It was a hard-fought victory over Siniakova in the first round but the Croatian will be pleased to get the high-level practice in her legs and the feeling of a victory at the top level again.
The Croatian could back this up with another win as Keys also has poor venue form as well as poor general form to deal with. She has won only one match since 2016 here in Miami. I am going to predict a bit of a shock here with Konjuh squeezing out a below par Keys in three sets.
Prediction: Konjuh in 3
Aryna Sabalenka vs Tsvetana Pironkova
One of the marquee matches of Day 3 sees an Eastern European clash in Miami. Sabalenka will be looking to return to the form that saw her win three successive WTA titles recently. The Belorussian has been hitting her head against a brick wall recently with three set defeats to top players in Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza so it is taking something good to beat her right now.
Whether the Bulgarian can provide that kind of level or not is unclear. Her opening main draw match against Marta Kostyuk would have given her confidence and her run to the US Open quarterfinals is still fresh in her mind I’m sure.
The pair have never played before but Pironkova will have to use every ounce of her experience and wiliness to have a chance here. This won’t be plain sailing for Sabalenka but she should emerge victorious with her ferocious power eventually wearing down the 33-year-old.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.