World number one Ash Barty will be up against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinal of the 2021 Miami Open, a match that is expected to be played on Wednesday, March 31. Get the live streaming options of this Ash Barty v Aryna Sabalenka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ash Barty v Aryna Sabalenka Head to Head
At the WTA level, these players have met four times with Sabalenka leading the head to head 3-1. Barty’s only over Sabalenka had come at the 2018 Australian Open but since then Sabalenka has won at the 2018 and 2019 Wuhan Open and at the WTA Elite Trophy.
Other than these four matches, there has also been one played at the 2019 Fed Cup where Barty was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Sabalenka.
Barty Victorious against Victoria
It took Barty three sets and nearly two hours but she came through against Victoria Azarenka in a match that swung from one extreme to another throughout.
The first set started with Azarenka getting herself a chance to break the Aussie but once she had thwarted that chance, Barty broke her opponent twice in a row to race off to a 5-1 before serving out the set.
Azarenka was as quick off the blocks as her opponent in the second set, breaking Barty in the second and the fourth game and wrapping it up in a similar fashion to what the world number one had done in the opening set.
There was an early exchange of break in the third, but serving at 2-3, Azarenka was broken the first time and Barty then made it two in two to send her opponent packing. This was after Barty herself faced four break-points in the entire set, and got broken one.
Barty had earlier gotten past Kristina Kucova in round two and crushed the hopes of Jelena Ostapenko in the third round.
Sabalenka Tames Vondrousova Easily
An hour and nine minutes is all that Sabalenka took to get past Marketa Vondrousova in her fourth round match, clinching the encounter 6-1, 6-2. It turned out to be a one-sided match, with Vondrousova’s only three opportunities to break her opponent coming in the 11th game of the match.
By that time the match had decisively moved in favour of the Belarusian and when Vondrousova failed to break, it was game over.
This comes on the back of Sabalenka showing the kind of sparkle all tournament that also seen her win three back to back singles titles – two towards the fag end of the previous season and one at the start of this one in Abu Dhabi.
While she would have loved to do a lot better than her opening defeats at the Gippsland Trophy and WTA Doha, she has shown a mix of solidity and grittiness in Miami that has already taken her three rounds ahead of her previous best here.
Sabalenka would know this match against Barty could prove to be a turning point in her career as far as bigger tournaments are concerned. For a player so talented, a Grand Slam career-best of just fourth round does no justice and a win here over the world number one could break all mental shackles.
Barty v Sabalenka Prediction and Tip
Interestingly, it’s Sabalenka, at 4/5 who starts off a favourite with Barty pegged at 1/1 and we would also find it a difficult to call to make. Instead going for the games market here.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)