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Miami Open 2021: Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund preview, head-to-head & prediction

Victoria Azarenka in action
Victoria Azarenka in action
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 24 Mar 2021
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Match details

Fixture: (14) Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund

Date: 25 March 2021

Tournament: Miami Open 2021

Round: Second Round (Round of 64)

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 Laura Siegemund preview

14th seed Victoria Azarenka takes on World No. 59 Laura Siegemund in her opening match at the 2021 Miami Open.

After an underwhelming start to the season, Azarenka turned things around in Doha, where she reached the semifinals. Straight-set wins over the likes of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elina Svitolina in the Middle-Eastern city gave her a huge boost of confidence.

But a back injury cut short the Belarusian's journey, and forced her to pull out of the subsequent Dubai Tennis Championships as well.

A fully recovered Azarenka now returns to the Miami Open, where she has tasted a lot of success in the past. Her title wins in 2009, 2011 and 2016 show the two-time Australian Open champion's comfort level playing on these courts.

Laura Siegemund
Laura Siegemund

Laura Siegemund, meanwhile, is enjoying a career resurgence in singles. Over the last few months, she has made runs to the Roland Garros quarters and the Qatar Round of 16.

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The latter was even more impressive as she had to battle her way out of the qualifying rounds. Siegemund defeated World No. 23 Elena Rybakina in Doha, which underlines how difficult an opponent she can be if she is on her game.

The 33-year-old started her Miami Open campaign with a 6-3, 7-5 win over World No. 90 Christina McHale. She will hope to bring that momentum into her face-off with Azarenka.

Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund head-to-head

Victoria Azarenka and Laura Siegemund have split their two meetings so far, so their head-to-head stands at a 1-1 deadlock.

Siegemund had beaten Azarenka at the 2019 Australian Open, but the Belarusian was able to turn the tables at the Qatar Open this year with a 6-4, 6-2 win.

Victoria Azarenka vs Laura Siegemund prediction

Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka

This is a matchup of contrasting styles. While Victoria Azarenka looks to dominate from the baseline, Laura Siegemund likes to come forward and finish points at the net. A tactic like that could work for Siegemund in Miami, as it would rob the former World No. 1 of the precious rhythm that she so craves.

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That said, Siegemund doesn't have the strongest of forehands, and that wing could break down if Azarenka targets it relentlessly. The German's serve can be a liability too; against a returner as efficient as Azarenka, that shot needs to be at its sharpest.

Having defeated Siegemund comfortably earlier this month, Azarenka can be expected to come up trumps once again and start her quest for a fourth Miami Open title on the right note.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in straight sets.

Published 24 Mar 2021, 15:45 IST
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