World number 11 Kiki Bertens will look to get back into the thick of things when she takes on Ludmilla Samsonova in the second round of the 2021 Miami Open on Friday, March 26. Get the live streaming options of this Kiki Bertens v Ludmilla Samsonova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Kiki Bertens v Ludmilla Samsonova Head to Head
There have been no previous matches played between Bertens and the 126th-ranked Samsonova before this encounter in Miami.
Bertens’ Returns Has Been Woeful
Having suffered an injury late last season, Bertens only just made a comeback in March after missing the season’s first Grand Slam and the rest of the competitions held in Australia. And it’s not been the happiest time on court for the Dutchwoman.
Bertens first played at the WTA Doha where she won just two games against Jelena Ostapenko to crash out of the first round of the competition. The following week, Bertens got a first round bye in Doha but coming up against Tereza Martincova, she again failed to win a set, losing 6-1, 6-4 to make it two successive, straight-set defeats.
This is a player who has won nine WTA career titles, including at least one every since 2016. So while it could be the case of form and the need to get back to her best at some time, there’s no doubting Bertens’ class.
The big question is whether she can turn things around as soon as in the second round here – she had an opening bye – or will it take some more time to get the rhythm going. Hard to tell.
Samsonova Hoping to Break Out
Last year, Samsonova registered just two main draw wins on the WTA tour, spread across seven months. The first came in the Brisbane International in January before she returned in Palermo in August to overcome Kirsten Flipkens and move into the second round.
While she ended the season with a finals appearance on the ITF circuit, the difference between the two circuit was always going to test Samsonova.
Fortunately for Samsonova, less than three months into the season, she has already emulated what she had done last year, i.e. win two main draw encounters and that should augur rather well for her coming into this encounter.
Her first win had come at the Australian Open where she registered her first ever victory in a Grand Slam main draw match, and she has now followed it up with a 6-2, 6-4 drubbing of Camilla Giorgi in the opening round here in Miami.
Earlier, she had qualified for the Miami Open with back to back wins over Monica Niculescu and Varvara Gracheva. Can she now go one better against a struggling opposition?
Bertens v Samsonova Prediction and Tip
Interestingly, it’s Samsonova who starts off a favourite here at 8/11 with Bertens’ resumption worrying the bookmakers despite the obvious discrepancy in their ranks. We think Bertens will give a good account of herself this time around but a win might still be some distance away.
Tip: Samsonova to win: 8/11 (bet365)