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Miami Open 2021: Victoria Azarenka vs Angelique Kerber preview, head-to-head & prediction

Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka
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Modified 26 Mar 2021
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Match details

Fixture: (14) Victoria Azarenka vs (24) Angelique Kerber

Date: 27 March 2021

Tournament: Miami Open 2021

Round: Third Round (Round of 32)

Venue: Miami, Florida

Category: WTA 1000

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $3,340,000

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort

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Victoria Azarenka vs Angelique Kerber preview

14th seed Victoria Azarenka takes on 24th seed Angelique Kerber for a spot in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Miami Open.

Having recovered from a back injury, a well-rested Azarenka has come to this high-profile Floridian event looking to lift the trophy for a whopping fourth time. Her three title wins at the Miami Open in the past prove her comfort level on this surface as well as her ability to handle the humid conditions.

Azarenka would be hoping to continue her momentum after having made the semi-finals at the Qatar Open, and this is the best place for her to do that.

The Belarusian didn't have to take the court in her opening match at Miami as Laura Siegemund gave her a walkover. Needless to say, the two-time Grand Slam champion will be raring to go now.

Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber
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Next up for her is Angelique Kerber, in what will be a battle of two former World No. 1s. A lot has happened since Kerber beat Azarenka at the 2016 Australian Open. The southpaw won three Slams from 2016-2018, and also added the coveted top ranking to her resume.

However, Kerber has been a pale shadow of herself for quite some time now. The 33-year-old hasn't reached a final on the WTA tour for nearly two years, and has been struggling to beat lower-ranked players.

Kerber's only noteworthy result has so far in 2021 has been a quarterfinal appearance at the Grampians Trophy. That said, the World No. 26 did show flashes of brilliance in her 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Renata Zarazua in the first round at Miami on Thursday.

Victoria Azarenka vs Angelique Kerber head-to-head

Victoria Azarenka leads Angelique Kerber by a huge margin of 8-1 in their head-to-head. The only time the German was able to beat Azarenka was at the 2016 Australian Open, a tournament that she went on to win.

Their last meeting was at Monterrey in 2019, where Azarenka emerged a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 winner.

Victoria Azarenka vs Angelique Kerber prediction

Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka
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Victoria Azarenka has been a bad matchup for Angelique Kerber throughout their careers. Azarenka's aggression and accuracy on her groundstrokes have made Kerber's life difficult numerous times. Moreover, Kerber's sub-par serve has given Azarenka plenty of chances to take control of the proceedings with her brilliant return.

That said, Kerber plays a strong defensive game, which involves a lot of rallies. She knows how to elongate the points, and would look to employ her tried-and-tested tactics against Azarenka in a bid to tire the Belarusian out.

With Azarenka not having played a single match at Miami so far, Kerber might have the initial advantage as she has already got a taste of the conditions. But once Azarenka gets into the groove, the German might not get many opportunities to dictate terms.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in straight sets.

Published 26 Mar 2021, 16:50 IST
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