Date: 7 April 2021
Tournament: Volvo Car Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Charleston, United States
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Green clay
Prize money: $565,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Ashleigh Barty vs Misaki Doi preview
After a title-winning run at Miami, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will head north to Charleston, where she headlines the 2021 Volvo Car Open.
Barty received a bye in the opening round at the South Carolina event, by virtue of her seeding. In the second round, the former French Open champion will cross swords with World No. 77 Misaki Doi.
Doi defeated Yaroslava Shvedova in her first round match on Monday, winning 6-3, 6-3. The Japanese was particularly strong on the return, claiming 51% of those points. In contrast, Shvedova managed to win just 37% of the points on Doi's serve.
Ashleigh Barty, on her part, certainly knows how to play on clay; her only Grand Slam title came at Roland Garros. Interestingly, however, the Australian hasn’t set foot on the surface since.
Charleston’s green clay is not the same as the conventional red claycourts, but it does have more than a few similarities. While the pace on the court isn’t much faster than the red dirt, the bounce is a lot more predictable.
Barty has taken part in the Charleston event only once before, back in 2018. The 24-year-old could only make it as far as the third round, where she was ousted by Anastasija Sevastova.
There is no doubt that Barty is the most in-form player on tour now (along with Garbine Muguruza), with 15 wins out of 17 matches played in 2021. But it remains to be seen how well the Aussie acclimatizes to the courts of Charleston.
Ashleigh Barty vs Misaki Doi head-to-head
Ashleigh Barty and Misaki Doi have never faced each other on tour before, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Ashleigh Barty vs Misaki Doi prediction
Misaki Doi has a punishing forehand. The Japanese can hit either flat or with spin off that wing, and her crosscourt forehand in particular could ask a few questions of Ashleigh Barty’s defense.
That said, the World No. 1 has a solid backhand, with which she deploys a wide range of spins. It is unlikely that Barty will present too many opportunities for Doi to unleash her big shots.
The Australian has not only been serving magnificently, but even her groundstrokes have been flawless lately. If Barty continues her rich vein of form, her game might prove to be too difficult to handle for Doi.
Prediction: Ashleigh Barty to win in straight sets.