Ashleigh Barty vs Victoria Azarenka: Prediction | Head-to-Head | Stats: Miami Open 2021
Ashleigh Barty vs Victoria Azarenka: Miami Open 4th Round Preview
It is a terrific tussle between the current world number 1 Ashleigh Barty and the former world number 1 Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round of the Miami Open.
Barty overcame the hard-hitting Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-2 in the round of 32 of the Miami Open. The Australian smashed five aces, clinched 73% of points on her first-serve and also saved 4 out of 7 breakpoints. Ostapenko was let down by a poor second-serve winning percentage of 36.
On the other hand, Azarenka continued to be Kerber's nemesis ousting the 24th seed 7-5 6-2. The Belarusian claimed 64% of her first-serve points. Kerber threw away her lead in the first set and also committed 8 double faults.
"I did a good job of maintaining positive energy when things were not working out in the beginning, I was looking for the right approach and trying to find my rhythm, the game and the movement eventually came, but it all stemmed from my approach, my mentality," said Azarenka praising herself for making a strong comeback after a slow start against Kerber.
Barty vs Azarenka: Head to Head Record
Azarenka and Barty are tied 1-1 in their head to head record. Their last match against each other was in the Fed Cup in April 2019.
"She is a very talented player and I have always been a fan of her game, how she plays and handles herself, she has a lot of variety and pretty much every shot there is, I am really looking forward to playing against her, but I also miss playing doubles with her!, hopefully, we can play a few more again," remarked Azarenka praising Barty before the exciting encounter.
Barty vs Azarenka: Key Insights
- Ashleigh Barty is the defending champion having won the Miami Masters in 2019.
- Azarenka is a 3-time champion in Miami. She won the tournament in 2009, 2011, and 2016.
- Barty may lose her world number 1 ranking if Naomi Osaka wins the title in Miami.
- Interestingly, both Barty and Azarenka played doubles together and reached the finals of the 2019 US Open.
Barty vs Azarenka: Game Analysis
Azarenka seems to have fully recovered from the back injury that forced her to give a walkover against Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.
She did not play the Dubai Open to avoid aggravating the issue. Her consistent groundstrokes have suited her game in the fast and humid conditions in Miami. The Belarusian dominated the long rallies and the counterattacking striking from Kerber effectively.
Barty was at her best against Ostapenko as her topspin heavy forehand made the damage. "I think today I felt like I was a lot sharper, switched on and ready to go from the very first point, I give myself another opportunity to try and do that again in another match in a couple days' time," opined Barty pumped up ahead of the big match against Azarenka.
Barty's game revolves around the seamless transition between offense and defense. Her main strengths are smart variation in pace to keep her opponents guessing, clever use of the backhand slice, and brilliant volleying skills.
Azarenka is an aggressive player from the baseline. A world-class backhand (that she can hit cross-court and down-the-line) helps her to rack up a lot of winners. Her deep topspin heavy forehand can also put pressure on her opponents.
Barty vs Azarenka: Miami Open Prediction
It is a battle of equals as both players are in fantastic form at the moment. Barty can play first-strike tennis while Azarenka takes some time to settle down in the match.
Both the stars know each other's game thoroughly. The player who maintains her cool in the crunch moments will turn out to be the winner.
Prediction - Ashleigh Barty to win in three sets
Featured Image Credits - Getty Images