It’s been an incredible tournament so far at the WTA Miami Open, with plenty of thrilling tennis, and the action continues on Day 4 with 16 matches on the slate. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including the two Americans Sloane Stephens vs Amanda Anisimova and one of the potential tournament winners, Garbine Muguruza. But who will rise to the occasion and who will fall short?
We also have predictions for the other 12 matches of the day, between three separate articles. One features Ajla Tomljanovic vs Naomi Osaka, the second highlights Bianca Andreescu vs Tereza Martincova, and the third features Karolina Pliskova vs Saisai Zheng.
WTA Miami Open Day 4 Predictions
Xinyu Wang vs Garbine Muguruza
Head-to-head: 1-0 Muguruza
Muguruza has been one of the standout players in the WTA this season, already capturing a title and adding two additional finals. She has applied her game well to all courts, but has really shown on the hard courts in 2021 and is coming off a title in Dubai. Wang is a young, inexperienced player who certainly has potential, shown by her 6-2 6-2 first round win over Rebecca Peterson.
Wang luckily reached the main draw with her lower ranking and can play with nothing to lose while gaining valuable experience. She looked great in her first round match and the pressure of the big tournament did not seem to phase her. Muguruza is an entirely different animal, and the Spaniard has been one of the toughest players to beat on tour. Wang will not have nearly enough answers and Muguruza wins easily.
Prediction: Muguruza in 2
Yulia Putintseva vs Nina Stojanovic
Head-to-head: first meeting
Stojanovic is primarily a doubles player who took advantage of a weaker draw to play singles as well. It seemed to be a good choice with a dominant straight-set upset over Heather Watson in the first round. She is facing Putintseva who has a good all-around game and is playing her first match this month after taking several weeks off. Putintseva is the stronger player but may have some rust with almost a month between matches and receiving a bye to the
Stojanovic has had a mediocre start to the season compiling a 4-5 record this year, though she has played a lot and gained more experience in singles. Putintseva has fared a bit better at 6-4, though she has been the victim of challenging draws, losing three consecutive tournaments to players ranked inside the top-15. Putintseva tends to play solid and take care of business against lesser opponents, and if she can limit her errors and shake off the rust she will win comfortably.
Prediction: Putintseva in 2
Ons Jabeur vs Paula Badosa
Head-to-head: 1-0 Badosa
Jabeur is a solid player who has proved dangerous on hard courts for the last couple of seasons. She started the year off strong, compiling an 8-5 record highlighted by reaching the third round of the Australian Open. Badosa focused on some smaller tournaments recently where she was able to get several match wins under her belt, though none against competition as challenging as Jabeur. The Spaniard faced a tricky first round match against Jil Teichmann who had to retire near the end of the first set.
Jabeur comes in with some momentum from a good start to the season, and will be the clear favorite. While the retirement helped Badosa advance, it did not allow her to gain the momentum that first round wins often give to lead to an upset. Jabeur will overpower Badosa and be able to outhit her in short rallys that will be the key to the match. Jabeur has won a match in every tournament she has entered this year and that trend will continue.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Sloane Stephens vs Amanda Anisimova
Head-to-head: first meeting
The all-American matchup will be exciting for local fans with one of the top Americans over the last several years in Stephens facing off against Anisimova, the most promising young talent from the states. Anisimova had a very challenging start to 2021 with injury issues and being one day late for her flight to Melbourne due to COVID-19 protocols, causing her to miss the Australian Open. The teenager has played just three matches on the year, winning two and losing to Muguruza. Stephens has dealt with inconsistency her entire career, and she seems to be slumping in 2021, losing her first four matches of the year before a three set victory here in Miami in round one.
Stephens has not played good tennis this year, winning just three sets in five matches, and entering Miami was coming off 6-2 6-2 losses to the world #151 and #95. Anisimova has not played quite enough this year to know if she is fully fit, but at her peak she is undoubtedly a top-10 talent. Anisimova is an elite player, while Stephens has not yet found her game in 2021, and as long as Anisimova comes out healthy and can make it through the match, she should not have much trouble winning.
Prediction: Anisimova in 2
Main Photo from Getty.