Fixture: (15) Elina Svitolina vs Heather Watson
Tournament: Miami Open.
Round: Second Round (Round of 64).
Venue: Miami, Florida, USA.
Category: WTA 1000.
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt.
Prize money: $8,584,055.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Elina Svitolina vs Heather Watson preview
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina will take on Britain's Heather Watson in the second round of the 2022 Miami Open.
Svitolina started the year in shaky fashion with an early loss in Adelaide and a 6-0, 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open. She then fell early in Dubai (round-of-16) and Doha (first round).
Despite being emotionally saddled by the news of Russia's invasion of her home country, Svitolina put up an admirable display in Monterrey, reaching the quarterfinals.
After a first-round defeat to Harriet Dart at Indian Wells, Svitolina will be looking to get back to winning ways in Miami.
Watson has had a poor run to start the year. Her win-loss record stands at 2-4, and she suffered early defeats in Monterrey, Indian Wells, Dubai, and Doha.
Her first-round win in Miami would give her plenty of confidence though. The Brit found herself down a set and a break against Arantxa Rus before rallying to win the match 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4.
Elina Svitolina vs Heather Watson head-to-head
The second-round encounter in Miami will be the fourth meeting between the two players, with Svitolina leading the head-to-head 2-1 over Watson.
Watson defeated Svitolina in their first encounter in Eastbourne in 2015, but the Ukrainian prevailed in their next two meetings at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and in Birmingham in 2017.
Elina Svitolina vs Heather Watson prediction
Svitolina is a steady hardcourt player with great movement and solid counterpunching skills from the baseline. Her return could also be a weapon against Watson, who does not have the greatest of serves.
The Brit does not have too much firepower from the back of the court and might struggle to hit through Svitolina, who enjoys engaging in long rallies and frustrating her opponents.
The Ukranian's strengths significantly outweigh her opponent's and she should be able to advance to the next round comfortably.
Prediction: Svitolina to win in straight sets.