World number one Ash Barty will want to continue her defence of the Miami Open title when she faces the world number 15 Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round of the 2021 Miami Open on Monday, March 29. Get the live streaming options of this Ash Barty v Victoria Azarenka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ash Barty v Victoria Azarenka Head to Head
In their only meeting at the highest level, Azarenka had beaten Barty in straight sets at the WTA Tokyo competition of 2018. Since then they have faced off once in the Fed Cup as well, and Barty defeated her Belarusian opponent 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Barty Recovers to Rout Ostapenko
The world number one Barty was in major strife in her second round match against Kristina Kucova, needing a three-setter and a recovery from a match-point down to edge her opponent out.
It looked like Barty found her rhythm in her third round encounter, as she crashed through the Jelena Ostapenko defences with a 6-3, 6-2 victory.
The match lasted a mere hour and 11 minutes, and saw Barty run away with the first set with just one break of serve proving to be enough. That’s not to say the Aussie herself didn’t face issues on her own serve, but once she had seen off Ostapenko in the first game when she saved four break-points, her only issue came in the final game of the set when she frittered away five set-points before converting one.
Ostapenko gave herself bit of a chance in the second set when she broke Barty early to take a 2-0 lead but the world number one stormed back to win six games in a row and closed out the match.
Barty’s first big test will come now, as she takes on the previous year’s Cincinnati Open winner and US Open runnerup.
Azarenka Hopes to Keep Fitness Issues at Bay
An hour and 33 minutes is what it took Azarenka to get past Angelique Kerber in the third round after getting a first round bye and a second round walkover from Laura Siegemund.
The Belarusian won 7-5, 6-2, with Kerber putting up a solid fight in the first set only to fizzle out against the power of Azarenka in the second.
In fact, Azarenka was down a break at 4-1 in the opening set, and then came back to win the seventh game off her opponent’s serve after longish game after saving three game-points. With the first set levelled soon after, Azarenka then broke Kerber in the 11th game and then served it out in the next to eke out the set.
There was no looking back after that as Azarenka broke her opponent twice in the set to clinch the encounter easily.
That win made it her fifth match victory of the season for Azarenka to go with one defeat that came in the first round of the Australian Open. However, Azarenka has had to give a couple of walk-overs too without getting on to the court and she would hope to have put her fitness issues behind her.
Barty v Azarenka Prediction and Tip
Barty starts off a favourite at 8/13 but will this finish up being that one-sided? Don’t think so. Azarenka has the game to get past Barty and we are backing her to win at least a set here.
Tip: Azarenka to win a set – Yes: 8/15 (bet365)