World number eight Aryna Sabalenka will face the Bulgarian challenge of Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round of the 2021 Miami Open on Thursday, March 25. The match is yet to be scheduled. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Tsvetana Pironkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Tsvetana Pironkova Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Sabalenka and Pironkova before this encounter.
Sabalenka Form Tapering off Since Abu Dhabi
When Sabalenka lifted the Abu Dhabi Open trophy earlier this January, she had won 15 successive matches including two other titles towards the end of the previous season. So much so, she was one of the dark horses to go the distance at the Australian Open.
However, while Sabalenka went on to lift the doubles title at the season’s first Grand Slam in Melbourne, her form in singles has shown signs of bit of a struggle.
This is not to forget Sabalenka did make it as far as the fourth round at the Australian Open where she managed to take a set off Serena Williams, but other than that she has suffered three losses across five matches.
At the Gippsland Trophy in the lead-up to the Australian Open, Sabalenka fell to Kaia Kanepi in the opening round, and then lost to Garbine Muguruza twice in the span of nearly a week at Doha and Dubai.
Sabalenka will now hope to get started well in a tournament she has never advanced beyond round two before this. Up against her, however, is a tricky opponent.
Pironkova Continues March towards Top 100
Having ended the 2018 season ranked 472nd in the world, Pironkova’s return to tennis has seen her make the fourth round at the US Open last season and then the third round of the French Open that followed.
As a result of that, she hit a season-high of 120th on the WTA charts earlier this year and currently ranked 131st, Pironkova will resume her march towards breaking into the top 100.
Pironkova has looked the part too. After having made it to the third round of the Yarra Valley Classic with wins over Ludmilla Samsonova and Donna Vekic, she fell to Serena Williams. And while the Bulgarian was a first round casualty at the Australian Open, she has done well here in Miami to reach the second round.
With wins over Cathy McNally and Olga Govortsova in the qualifiers, Pironkova then needed three sets to get past teenager talent Marta Kostyuk. Pironkova was stretched to two hours and 30 minutes before she came through 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 to set up this meeting with Sabalenka.
Sabalenka v Pironkova Prediction and Tip
Since making her return to tennis Pironkova has upset a few of the top players and almost pulled off a win over Serena Williams too. She wouldn’t be a pushover coming into this one but Sabalenka is far too strong an opponent to let this opportunity of going deeper into the tournament.
Tip: Sabalenka to win AND Over 20.5 games in the match: 1/1 (bet365)