WTA Miami Open Day 5 Predictions Including Ashleigh Barty vs Jelena Ostapenko

Anastasija Sevastova in action at WTA Miami Open.

Several top women’s seeds survived early scares to make it through to the third round on Saturday. On day five at the WTA Miami Open, there are eight matches on the slate and we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate. But who will advance to the last 16?

WTA Miami Open Day Five Predictions

Ashleigh Barty vs Jelena Ostapenko

Head-to-head: Barty 2-1 Ostapenko

Another seed lucky to be alive in Miami is defending champion Ashleigh Barty. The Aussie won the tournament in 2019, with no 2020 version being played due to COVID-19. Barty was 5-2 down in her last match against, but somehow pulled it out of the bag and took the third set 7-5. She is perhaps still trying to play off rust as well, having not played since the Australian Open. Nonetheless, the world #1 will need to up her game if she hopes to retain her title here. She won’t have an easy time of it either, with the mercurial Jelena Ostapenko next in line to try and stop her.

Ostapenko’s game continues to be the most fluctuating in the women’s game. On her day, the Latvian is simply unplayable. She can and has beaten anyone and everyone when she is firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately for her, she rarely strings together more than two or three days of her best tennis. Also working against her is the variety Barty brings to a tennis match. Ostapenko loves speed on the ball. As such, she should struggle mightily with the Australian’s knife-like slice. If Barty can serve well and that slice backhand is firing, she should move on more comfortably here.

Prediction: Barty in 3
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Elina Svitolina vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Head-to-head: Svitolina 2-0 Alexandrova

Elina Svitolina is one of the top seeds in Miami who survived a real scare in her first match of the tournament. The Ukrainian rallied from a set and a break down to outlast American Shelby Rogers in the second round. Svitolina has been below her best since the start of the new year. Off court issues seem to have been weighing on her. However, a decent run in Miami would go a long way towards putting all that behind her. Svitolina is a great counter-puncher and will be grateful of the extra speed the Miami courts bring to her ground strokes. If she can grow into the tournament she is a real threat to anyone here.

Facing her is Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Russian has also had a poor start to the year. She failed to perform in Australia this year after winning a title in Hobart in 2020. That was followed up with early exits in Lyon, Dubai and St Petersburg. However, there were signs in Russia that her game is starting to come back to her. Alexandrova hits a hard and flat ball that makes her incredibly dangerous on fast hard courts. She will need to find her mark often if she is to beat Svitolina here. Her comfortable first round win gives me confidence that she has that in her. This one should go the distance, but expect the Russian to edge it.

Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
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Petra Kvitova vs Johanna Konta

Head-to-head: Kvitova 3-2 Konta

Johanna Konta played a solid first match against Magda Linette to get her Miami Open campaign underway. However, the Brit is desperately short of matches and form this year. That win was just her second of the year. Konta has also only played five matches in 2021. She showed few signs of rust in her first match, but will need to be more than just good if she is to beat an in form Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Kvitova is coming off what was a truly amazing run to the title in Doha. She lost in the first round in Dubai the week after, but that was to be expected given the run to the title in Qatar. When Kvitova is at her best she is one of the few on the women’s tour who is truly unplayable. Her lefty serve can be among the best in the game, and her groundstrokes are often unmatched for power and placement. Konta can be pleased with her performance in her first match this week. However, don’t expect her to put up much resistance given the level Kvitova is playing at currently.

Prediction: Kvitova in 2
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Anastasija Sevastova vs Simona Halep

Head-to-head: Halep 6-3 Sevastova

Simona Halep is lucky to be in this match. The Romanian barely held on against Caroline Garcia in the last round. The French former world #4 should have won that match in two sets, but couldn’t get it done and faded badly in the third. Some of her performance can be attributed to rust. Halep’s match against Garcia was her first since the Australian Open. Luckily for her, her next opponent is someone she has had great success against over the years.

Anastasija Sevastova has had a pretty rough time of things on the tour in recent months. The Latvian won just six matches last year and is one of several players grateful for the protected ranking system currently in place. However, she has showed signs of life in 2021. Her win against Cori Gauff in the last round will have been a real confidence booster for Sevastova. Unfortunately for her, she now faces an opponent she has lost to five times in a row. But although Sevastova has been playing well, the head-to-head between this two is just too one-sided to inspire faith in the Latvian. Halep will win this, but it should be close.

Prediction: Halep in 3

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