Angelique Kerber could face Daria Kasatkina’s threat in Miami
Just a few days after the all-Russian final between Elena Vesnina and Svetlana Kuznetsova the second Premier Mandatory of the season in Miami will start on Monday with the qualifying matches followed by the first main draw matches on Tuesday.
Last year’s WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova and US player Christina McHale attended the Main Draw Ceremony at the Miami Beach Lacoste store.
Last year’s Australian Open and US Open champion and world number 1 Angelique Kerber leads the line-up which also features Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Garbine Muguruza, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Madison Keys. Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament last Tuesday due to a left knee injury.
Kerber leads the top half of the draw, but will face a tough draw, as she could potentially clash against Daria Kasatkina, who beat the German player twice this year in Sydney and Doha. Last week Kerber beat Andrea Petkovic and Paulime Parmentier before losing to Elena Vesnina, who went on to lift the Indian Wells last Sunday. If Kerber gets through the third round, she is projected to face a very tough quarter final against one of Venus Williams, Kristina Mladenovic (both semifinalist in Indian Wells last week) or Indian Wells runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Simona Halep leads the second quarter of the draw. The Romanian has had a difficult start to her season and was beaten in straight sets by eventual semifinalist Mladenovic. The former Roland Garros finalist could meet Naomi Osaka in the second round and Caroline Garcia in the third round. This section of the draw also features number 8 seed Madison Keys, who will face either Viktorija Golubic or Tsvetana Pironkova before a potential round of 16 match against Johanna Konta. Keys made a solid return from a long lay-off following wrist surgery with a win over Naomi Osaki before losing to Caroline Wozniacki in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells.
Elena Vesnina tops the third quarter. The Russian player will be bidding to score a Indian Wells-Miami double after her sensational triumph in the Californian desert, where she beat Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams, Kristina Mladenovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova. She is projected to meet Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round. The third quarter of the draw also features 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza, who stopped Elina Svitolina’s 15 match-winning streak in Indian Wells before losing to Karolina Pliskova in the quarter finals. The Spanish player of Venezuelan origin could meet Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round. Muguruza leads 3-1 in her head-to-head matches against Wozniacki and won their most recent clash in the Wimbledon fourth round in 2015 en route to her first Grand Slam final. Wozniacki showed good form last February when she reached two consecutive finals in Doha and Dubai. Before the possible match against Muguruza, Wozniacki will have to face either Olympic champion Monica Puig or Lauren Davis.
In the fourth quarter Elina Svitolina could take on Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova in a re-match of their third round clash at last January’s Australian Open. Svitolina will be looking to continue her season on a high note after her back-to-back titles in Taipei and Dubai. Pavlyuchenkova enjoyed a successful season in which she reached the quarter finals at the Australian Open and Indian Wells. In the Californian desert the Russian player scored a win against Cibulkova.
Agnieszka Radwanska could clash against either Pavlyuchenkova or Svitolina in the Round of 16. The Pole will have to beat either a qualifier or Dubai quarter finalist Wang Qiang in the second round and this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Mirjana Lucic Baroni in the third round in a re-match of this year’s clash in Melbourne.
In the fourth quarter this year’s Brisbane and Doha champion Karolina Pliskova could face Jelena Ostapenko in the second round in a re-match of this year’s clash at the Australian Open, if the young Latvian player beats a qualifier in the first round.
Pliskova could meet Yulia Putintseva and either Barbora Strykova or this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe in the Round of 16.