This week the tour moves into Miami for the second premier mandatory event of the year. Serena pulled out of this event and defending champion Victoria Azarenka will also be missing. I hope I will be able to watch more of this tournament than Indian Wells as the time difference is better.
Quarter 1 Kerber (1) vs Bertens (16)
The top seed at the tournament is Angelique Kerber who has returned to world number 1 after Serena withdraw from Indian Wells and Miami. Kerber hasn’t had the best start to the season and is nowhere near her best from last year. As the seeds get byes into the second round her first match will either be against Duan or Siegemund. Siegemund has only won one match this year so Kerber will most likely play Duan in the second round. Kerber could face Kasatkina in the third round, so far Kasatkina has beaten Kerber twice this year. She will face either a qualifier or Shelby Rogers in the second round. Rogers best result this year was making the quarters of Hobart and beating Simona Halep at the Australian Open. Kerber’s projected fourth round opponent is Kiki Bertens who hasn’t been having the best start to the year having only won four matches. She will play either a qualifier or Chirico in the second round. The final seed in this quarter Suarez Navarro who has only played four tournaments this year through injury she will play either Riske or Goerges in the second round of the two Goerges has had the better results of the year.
Kerber df Bertens
Quarter 2 Williams (11) vs Kuznetsova (7)
Venus has had a good start to the year having made the final of the Australian Open only to lose to her sister and the quarters of Indian Wells where she lost to eventual champion Elena Vesnina. Nobody thought that Venus would make another slam final and is looking in good form. In her first match she will play either Tsurenko or wildcard Haddad Maia. Tsurenko had a good start to the year where she made the semis of Hobart then only wining one match until Acapulco where she won the tournament. Haddas Maia is used to playing ITF tournaments having not played an WTA tournament since last summer. Venus is seeded to meet Mladenovic in the third round who made the semis last week in Indian Well. Kiki has been having a great year so far wining her first WTA title in St Petersburg and making the final of Acapulco. She will play either Watson or a qualifier in her first match. Heather Watson’s only real success of the year came at Fed Cup. Last week’s finalist Kuznetsova is the highest seed in this section and will play either Minella or Kristyna Pliskova in her first match. Minella had a good year last year getting herself back into the top 100 from being ranked 200 and this year isn’t off to the same start and has only had one good result making the semis of Taipei City. Kristyna Pliskova has never had the success of her sister Karolina has had but she is making her way up the rankings having some good results this year making the quarters of Schenzhen and the third round of Melbourne and Indian Wells. I fancy Pliskova to win this one. The other seed in the quarter is Roberta Vinci who never capitalised on the success she had at the end of 2015 and beginning of last season. She will play either a qualifier or wildcard Anisimova.
Kuznetsova df Mladenovic
Quarter 3 Halep (3) vs Stosur (14)
Simona Halep hadn’t played a match since St Petersburg because of a knee injury and has only won three matches this year because of this injury. She will play either Osaka or Kucova in her first match here. Osaka made her mark on the tour last where she made a name for herself and so far, this year she hasn’t been the same this having only won five matched compared to fourteen this time last year having not won back to back matched since Auckland since last week. Kucova has only won two matches this year and I think that Osaka will win this match. Halep is seeded to meet Makarova in the third round. A former top 10 player who has fallen down the rankings in recent months who’s best result this year is making the fourth round of the Australian Open she will play a qualifier in her first match. Stosur has made a couple a quarter finals this year apart from that has done nothing memorable. She will play either Bouchard or Barty in the second round. Bouchard hasn’t won a match since the Australian Open the only notable results she has had was making the semis of Sydney. On the other hand, Ashleigh Barty has been having a great year after stepping away from the sport in 2014. Since making her return last summer she has won her first title and broke into the top 100 for the first time. I fancy Barty to win this match. Stosur is seeded to meet Garcia in the third round who’s best result of the year came last week in Indian Wells where she made the fourth round losing to Kuznetsova. She will play either Peng or Kovinic in the second round, Kovinic hasn’t won a match since the Australian Open and has only won one other match this year. Peng Shaui has been having a good time on tour recently after coming back from injury winning her first title and getting back into the top 100.
Halep df Peng
Quarter 4 Konta (10) vs Keys (8)
Konta had a great start to the year winning her second title making the semis of Schenzhen and the quarters of the Australian Open. She withdrew from a couple of tournaments because of injury and came back last week in Indian Wells. She will play either a qualifier or Alize Cornet in the second round who had a great start to the year making the final of Brisbane but since then hasn’t done anything notable. Konta is seeded to meet Timea Babos in the third round, Babos hadn’t won a match outside Fed cup all season until Budapest where she won the title. She will play either Dodin or Parmentier in the second round. Dodin has only had one notable result this year making the quarters of Budapest whereas last week Parmentier had a chance to beat Angelique Kerber. This will be a repeat of the first round in Indian Wells. Madison Keys started her season last week in Indian Wells because of injury. She will play either Pironkova or Golubic in the second round, Pironkova hasn’t had a good year so far having only won four matches with her best result being making the second round of Schenzhen. Goulbic hasn’t done any better winning only one match so far in Dubai. I think that Pironkova will win this one. Keys is projected to meet Begu in the third round who hadn’t won a match since Melbourne until last week. Begu will play either Arruabarrena or Vikhlyantseva in the second round.
Konta df Keys
Quarter 5 Muguruza (6) vs Wozniacki (12)
Muguruza had a good start to the year making the semis of Brisbane and the quarters of Melbourne then had a bit of a slump before making the quarters last week in Indian Wells. She will play either McHale or Beck in the second round. Neither of these players have had the best start to the season with McHale’s best result being the semis of Acapulco and Becks being quarters of Budapest. Muguruza is seeded to meet Zhang in the third round. Zhang hasn’t been able to replicate the success she had last year only winning four matches. She will play either Bencic or Errani in the second round. Both players have fallen out of the top 100 this year and haven’t been having the best of years. Bencic has only won four matches this year and Errani has only won two. I fancy Bencic to win this match. Wozniacki has been having a great year so far making back to back finals in Dubai and Doha and making the quarters of three other tournaments. She will play either Davis or a qualifier in her first match. Davis won her first title this year and has made the quarters of another two tournaments. Wozniacki could meet Sevastova in the third round whose year hasn’t been great apart from making the semis of Dubai where she lost to Wozniacki. She will play either Puig or Cirstea in her first match. Puig hasn’t had any results that stand out this year apart from making the semis of Doha. Cirstea had a good run at the Australian Open but since then hasn’t won a match she has been suffering with injury.
Wozniacki df Muguruza
Quarter 6 Vesnina (13) vs Cibulkova (4)
Vesnina won the tournament in Indian Wells it was her first Premier Mandatory title. Her start to the year wasn’t the best for Vesnina she had only won six matches until she took the title last week with her only notable result being a quarter final round appearance in St Petersburg. She will play either Bellis or Tomljanoivc in the second round. Bellis is only seventeen and is already making a name for herself. She made the quarters of the premier 5 event in Dubai. Tomljanovic has been wildcarded into the event after coming back from injury. Vesnina could be Gavrilova whose only notable event is the Australian Open where she made the fourth round she could play either Safarova or Wickmayer in the second round. Safarova didn’t have the best start to the year until Taipei where she made the semis and Budapest where she made the final. Wickmayer also hasn’t had a good year so far with her only notable result being the quarters of Budapest. Cibulkova is sitting a career high of number four in the world she has been having a steady year so far but has lost to some players that she could have easily won saying that she has made two semis and a quarter final. Her first match will be against either a qualifier or Doi who has only won four matches this year. She could meet Konjuh in the third round who made the final at the beginning of the year in Auckland and then made quarters in Dubai. Her first match will be against either Flipkens or Brady,
Cibulkova df Vesnina
Quarter 7 Radwanksa (5) vs Svitolina (9)
Radwanksa started the year by making the quarters of Schenzhen and the final of Sydney but since then hasn’t done anything notable. Her first match will be against either a qualifier or Wang who has made three quarters this year with the best result being the quarters in Dubai a premier 5 event. Radwanska could meet Lucic-Baroni in the third round. Lucic-Baroni beat Radwanksa at the Australian Open on route to the semi-finals she then followed this up by making the semis in Acapulco. Her first match will be against either Bondarenko or Badosa Gibert. Bondaerenko hasn’t had any good results and Badosa Gibert only really places ITF tournaments. Svitolina has been having a great year so far winning two tournaments and making the top 10. She will play either Mattek-Sands or Siniakova. Mattek-Sands nowadays is more dominant on the doubles court where she is the world number 1 and her singles ranking has dropped meaning she has to be wildcarded into the tournament. Siniakova started the by winning Schenzhen which was her first title and since then hasn’t had good results. Svitolina could meet Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. She has a good year so far making the quarters of the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Sydney. In her first match she will play either Jankovic or Shvedova.
Svitolina df Lucic-Baroni
Quarter 8 Strycova (15) vs Pliskova (2)
Strycova started the year by making the quarters of Auckland and the semis of Sydney but since then hasn’t had many good results. She will play either Niculescu or Larsson, Niculescu made the final of Hobart at the start of the year but has since only won one match and Larsson has only won four matches this year. She could play Vandeweghe in the third round who made the semis of the Australian Open but since then has only won matches during Fed Cup. She will play either Petkovic or a qualifier. Petkovic hasn’t made it past the second round of any tournament this year. Pliskova is the second seed here and has arguably had the best season so far winning in Brisbane and Doha, making the quarters of the Australian Open and the semis of Indian Wells and has only played five tournaments. She will either play Ostapenko or a qualifier in the second round. Ostapenko started the year by making the semis of Auckland and then followed this up by making the quarters of Acapulco. Pliskova could meet Putintseva in the third round who didn’t have any good results until St Petersburg where she made the final but since then has only won one match. She will play either Witthoeft or Gibbs in the second round.
Pliskova df Strycova
Kuznetsova df Kerber
Konta df Halep
Wozniacki df Cibulkova
Pliskova df Svitolina
Konta df Kuznetsova
Pliskova df Wozniacki
Konta df Pliskova