WTA Miami Open Day 4 Predictions Including Ajla Tomljanovic vs Naomi Osaka

Arantxa Rus in action ahead of the WTA Miami Open.
Spread the love

There has been plenty of entertaining tennis so far at the WTA Miami Open and the competition looks set to heat up on day four in Florida. There are 16 matches on the schedule and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Bianca Andreescu vs Tereza Martincova, Sloane Stephens vs Amanda Anisimova, and Karolina Pliskova vs Zhang Saisai. But who will reach the last 32?

WTA Miami Open Day Four Predictions

Ajla Tomljanovic vs Naomi Osaka

Head-to-head: first meeting

Ajla Tomljanovic ended 2020 in miserable fashion, losing all six matches she played after the WTA Tour resumed in July. But she has bounced back in 2021, at least to some extent, reaching the second round at the WTA Gippsland Trophy, the Australian Open and the WTA Phillip Island Trophy. She continued her revival with an impressive 7-5 6-0 win over Russian young gun Anastasia Potapova in the first round at the WTA Miami Open.

But it is hard to see her getting the better of Naomi Osaka in what is, somewhat surprisingly, their first meeting. The Japanese may have to contend with a degree of ring rust having been out of action since lifting the title at the Australian Open, but she played well enough in Melbourne to suggest that she will take some stopping this week. Particularly as the relatively slow courts in Miami should give her plenty of time to wind up her big groundstrokes.

Prediction: Osaka in 2
Embed from Getty Images

Kaia Kanepi vs Elena Rybakina

Head-to-head: Kanepi 2-0 Rybakina

It seems safe to say that 2021 has not quite gone to plan for Elena Rybakina. Her results have not been terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but after a breakthrough campaign last season, they have certainly been disappointing, with her best showing so far this year a run to the quarterfinals in Abu Dhabi in January. Since then, she has won just twice. The Kazakh may be less than pleased to see Kaia Kanepi on the other side of the net in her Miami opener as a result.

Particularly because the Estonian beat her in both of their previous meetings. Admittedly, both matches were contested three years ago, but with Rybakina likely to be low on confidence, those results may still be a factor in the outcome of this match. The fact that Kanepi is in good form almost certainly will be. The veteran proved too strong for Lauren Davis in the first round and it would not be a surprise to see her get the better of Rybakina here.

Prediction: Kanepi in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Petra Martic vs Anna Kalinskaya

Head-to-head: first meeting

The decision to make changes to the rankings system in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic was more than understandable at the time, and probably correct, but it has also had the effect of artificially inflating some player’s rankings whilst preventing others from climbing the ladder. One example of the former is Petra Martic. The Croatian has looked like she could not buy a win for much of the last 12 months, but remains firmly ensconced in the top 30 at world #21.

Anna Kalinskaya, meanwhile, has impressed of late and reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier last time out in Monterrey. She continued her solid start to the season in the first round at the WTA Miami Open, getting the better of Irina-Camelia Begu in straight-sets. She does remain inexperienced at this level, but confidence trumps experience more often than not. With Martic stuck in a seemingly terminal slump, expect Kalinskaya to take advantage.

Prediction: Kalinskaya in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Arantxa Rus vs Maria Sakkari

Head-to-head: Sakkari 1-0 Rus

Maria Sakkari is one of several players who arrives at the WTA Miami Open in need of wins. The Greek has played good tennis at times this season, notably in reaching the semifinals at the WTA Grampians Trophy and the last eight in Doha. But there have also been too many first-round losses, particularly for a player with ambitions of establishing themselves as a top-20 regular and perhaps even in the top 10. But she has what looks like a good chance of putting that right up against Arantxa Rus.

The Dutchwoman is not to be underestimated, particularly after playing very well in her 6-2 6-3 first-round win over recent Guadalajara semifinalist Marie Bouzkova. But although Rus is a solid baseliner and a good mover, there is little in her game that should trouble Sakkari if the 23rd seed is at her best. The reality is that Sakkari has more power than Rus and covers the court better. That should result in a relatively comfortable win for the 25-year-old Athenian.

Prediction: Sakkari in 2

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images