Fixture: Tsvetana Pironkova vs Marta Kostyuk
Date: 24 March 2021
Tournament: Miami Open 2021
Round: First Round (Round of 128)
Venue: Miami, Florida
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,340,000
Match timing: Approx 5 pm local time, 2:30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Marta Kostyuk preview
Tsvetana Pironkova is set to open her 2021 Miami Open campaign on Wednesday with a first-round match against talented youngster Marta Kostyuk.
Pironkova notched up a couple of strong wins in the qualification rounds to book her spot in the main draw. She will now look to carry her momentum deep into the tournament.
Marta Kostyuk, meanwhile, has already made a name for herself at the young age of 18. Two third-round showings at the Majors coupled with wins over the likes of Daria Kasatkina and Anastasija Sevastova have helped establish her status as one of the fastest-rising players on the tour.
The Ukrainian had a prolific junior career too, winning the singles title at the Australian Open and the doubles titles at the US Open - both in 2017.
Kostyuk's game is well-suited to quicker surfaces, as she enjoys hitting aggressively from the baseline. She could give Pironkova a lot to think about in this mouth-watering first-round clash.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Marta Kostyuk head-to-head
This is set to be the first career meeting between Tsvetana Pironkova and Marta Kostyuk, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Marta Kostyuk prediction
Tsvetana Pironkova has made a solid start to the new year. Barring her loss to Serena Williams in Melbourne, she has looked strong in most aspects of her game so far.
The Bulgarian has impeccable timing and enjoys playing on quick surfaces. Her backhand and variety have been on full display throughout the qualification rounds at Miami.
But she will need all the smaller elements of her game to come together for her clash against Kostyuk.
The one area where Pironkova needs to work on is her first serve percentage, which has been hovering around the 40-50% mark. If she can improve on that, her first serve could be a weapon - and possibly tilt the match in her favor.
Marta Kostyuk on her part will need to find a way to vary her shots, as feeding her opponent with pace might just come back to haunt her. She is a naturally aggressive player, but will need a little more than just plain power-hitting to come through this one.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in two tight sets.