World number 15 Victoria Azarenka will be up against Germany’s 26th-ranked Angelique Kerber in the third round of the 2021 Miami Open on Saturday, March 27. The match is yet to be scheduled. Get the live streaming options of this Victoria Azarenka v Angelique Kerber match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Angelique Kerber Head to Head
This is a long-standing, if one-sided rivalry between Azarenka and Kerber. There have been nine chapters written in this one before this match, and Azarenka leads Kerber 8-1.
Their most recent match came in the 2019 Monterrey Open where Azarenka clinched a three-setter semifinal before losing to Garbine Muguruza in the final. Kerber’s only win against the Belarusian had come at the 2016 Australian Open quarterfinal, a tournament that the German would go on to win.
These two had faced off in the 2018 Miami Open semifinal as well and the result went in the favour of Azarenka.
Azarenka Gets Siegemund Walkover
Azarenka has seen a few walkovers and retirements since her return to tennis from the pandemic break.
Last season, she won the Cincinnati Open when her opponent in the final, Naomi Osaka opted out of the match because of an injury. She was also helped by a retirement from Daria Kasatkina at the Italian Open in 2020.
This season, Azarenka has herself had to withdraw from two matches – one at the Grampians Trophy quarterfinal against Anett Kontaveit and then against Garbine Muguruza in Doha before receiving a walkover from Laura Siegemund in the second round of this tournament.
This follows a first round bye, which means Azarenka will now begin her Miami Open campaign, having played a sum total of just five matches all season. Will the rustiness become a factor or would the extra rest come to Azarenka’s rescue given her recent fitness concerns?
Kerber Double-Bagels Zarazua
The German had a 3-4 win-loss record coming into this tournament with defeats in three of the past four matches to boot. Which is why it wasn’t that big a surprise she wasn’t that short on winning odds (8/15) coming up into her second round match against a player ranked outside the top 140 on the WTA Rankings.
The manner in which she played, however, pointed to control and power and signs of the Kerber of old. She came through against Renata Zarazua in her second round match without dropping a game.
It would take a test like this one against Azarenka to really know if Kerber has improved as drastically as a 6-0, 6-0 scoreline suggests but to come through in an hour and two minutes, facing just five break-points in the entire match should work wonders for the world number 26.
Kerber had earlier lost in the opening round of the Australian Open after finishing as a quarterfinalist at the Grampians Trophy.
Azarenka v Kerber Prediction and Tip
Not surprisingly, given her record against Azarenka in general and her recent form in particular, Kerber starts off as a second favourite by some distance. She is 5/2 to win this and 10/11 to even win a set. We reckon the latter is a bet we could make given the confidence she would have got from the previous result.
Tip: Kerber to win a set – Yes: 10/11 (bet365)