The second half of second-round matches will be played out on Day 4 of the WTA Miami Open, with all of the remaining seeds facing their first obstacle. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. Who do you think will go to the third round?
WTA Miami Open Day 4 Predictions
Paula Badosa vs Marie Bouzkova
Head-to-head: Badosa 1-0 Bouzkova
After winning Sydney in January, Badosa followed it up with a very decent tilt at defending her Indian Wells title last week. The Spaniard made it to the semifinals of the tournament, giving a good account of herself with wins over Leylah Fernandez and Veronika Kudermetova. Bouzkova should be a decent test for Badosa, who hasn’t made it past the second round since 2015. The Czech is putting together a strong comeback season, already 17-5 on the season. The 23-year-old made the third round last week in Indian Wells as a qualifier and is looking to repeat the feat in Miami, beating Laura Siegemund in the first round. Their last meeting, won by Badosa, was back in 2017 when both players were still outside the Top 150. I think Badosa will make it through, though it will be a battle.
Prediction: Badosa in 3
Yulia Putintseva vs Marketa Vondrousova
Head-to-head: Vondrousova 3-0 Putintseva
An interesting match up here that Vondrousova owns, winning all three of their previous meetings, including a 6-4 in the third win in Dubai qualifying last month. The Czech is 11-5 on the year and really hitting her stride recently, reaching the semifinals as a qualifier in Dubai a fourth-round run in Indian Wells that included an upset over Anett Kontaveit. Putintseva won her first-round match against wildcard Nastasja Schunk to go 4-4 on the season. The 27-year-old has been struggling so I see Vondrousova winning this one.
Prediction: Vondrousova in 2
Elise Mertens vs Linda Fruhvirtova
Head-to-head: first meeting
This matchup may not be as straightforward as it may seem. Fruhvirtova is definitely a new name at just 16 years old, but she has been making waves over the past two years, reaching a Charleston quarterfinal and getting some ITF success. Now, the young Czech took advantage of her wildcard by allowing Danka Kovinic only four games and is set to take on a famously consistent player in Mertens. The Belgian hasn’t had the best start to the year, though far away from a slump. She has also reached the third round in Miami in her last three appearances. Fruhvirtova is certainly promising, though I think she is still a year or two away from a result like this.
Prediction: Mertens in 2
Jessica Pegula vs Sloane Stephens
Head-to-head: Pegula 1-0 Stephens
Outside of an Australian Open quarterfinal, it’s been a down year for Pegula only winning back-to-back matches once more and suffering a loss in her Indian Wells opener to Bouzkova. It’s been quite different for Stephens, suffering first-round losses to Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka but taking the title in Guadalajara. This is a very intriguing match-up as it is only their second meeting, with Pegula winning the first in Indian Wells last year, though the form tables have turned for the two players. It’s tough to call but I see Stephens winning this one with her current form, taking apart Panna Udvardy in the first round. She is also a former winner from 2018, so she certainly knows the taste of success in Florida.
Prediction: Stephens in 3
Main Photo from Getty.