In what will be a repeat of the Abu Dhabi Open final from earlier this season, the world number eight Aryna Sabalenka will take on the 37th-ranked Veronika Kudermetova in the third round of the 2021 Miami Open on Wednesday, March 24. The match is yet to be scheduled. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Veronika Kudermetova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Veronika Kudermetova Head to Head
Their only meeting on the WTA tour came earlier this year at the Abu Dhabi Open, the first tournament of the season at WTA. The two ladies clashed in the final with Sabalenka turning out an easy winner, grabbing the encounter 6-2, 6-2.
Before this, they had also met on the ITF circuit, way back in 2015 and Sabalenka had come through in straight sets in that one too.
Sabalenka Scrapes Past Pironkova
Sabalenka had come into this season with back to back WTA titles under her belt and went on to win a third in succession at the WTA Abu Dhabi. Such was her form she was considered one of the dark horses to lift the Australian Open title but things haven’t quite panned out like that since that Abu Dhabi final.
The Belarusian had a 5-4 win-loss record other than that win in Abu Dhabu coming into this tournament and after getting a first round bye, the manner in which she was blasted out 6-0 in the first set by Pironkova was stunning to watch.
When Sabalenka fell a break down in the second set as well, going 1-3 down, it seemed curtains for her.
The world number nine mounted a fightback soon after, as she broke back twice in a row to win the set, and then again, in the final set, came back from 2-5 down to push it into a tie-breaker. The tie-breaker was a closely-fought affair that saw both players fritter away match-points, before Sabalenka won it off her fourth.
Can she regain her composure coming into this third round encounter here?
Kudermetova Tames Collins
Despite getting a first round bye as a seeded player, bookmakers were in no mood to oblige and were offering 6/4 for a Kudermetova win over Danielle Collins in her second round match. That’s exactly what Kudermetova did, crushing the American challenge in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 to record her first ever win in the Miami Open.
Having never made it to the main draw here in Miami before this, the Russian needed just an hour and 12 minutes against a strangely lacklustre Collins to advance to the third.
An early break of serve for Kudermetova was followed by another as Collins served to stay in the opening set. In the second set, things went on serve till the fifth game before the Russian broke Collins twice in a row to wrap up the match easily.
Such was the world number 37’s dominance in the encounter, she did not face a single break-point in the entire match.
Can she now overturn a poor track record against a player who denied her second WTA title earlier this year?
Sabalenka v Kudermetova Prediction and Tip
Kudermetova might not be a favourite in this one but we believe she is too long at 11/5 to win this. We think there is a fair chance of Kudermetova winning a set, if not more against a player who looks like she might have lost bit of her rhythm.
Tip: Kudermetova to win a set – Yes: 5/6 (bet365)