World No.1 Angelique Kerber takes on former World No.1 Venus Williams in the Miami Open.
(1) Angelique Kerber (No.1) vs (11) Venus Williams (No.12)
Overview: Another quality Miami quarterfinal features top seed Angelique Kerber against Venus Williams. After a bad start to 2017, the recrowned No.1 Kerber has had a good couple of weeks. The German made her first semifinal of the season in Dubai and made the fourth round of Indian Wells, falling to eventual winner Elena Vesnina. In Miami, Kerber has won three consecutive straight set matches to reach the quarterfinals, beating Duan Ying-Ying, Shelby Rogers and Risa Ozaki. Although not playing her best, Kerber has taken advantage of her easier draw. Her first true test will come against Venus Williams.
Williams is enjoying an awesome 2017 season, posing a 13-3 record so far. She obviously made the final of the Australian Open, losing to sister Serena there, then in Indian Wells made the quarterfinals. She defeated Jelena Jankovic after being down match point and beat quality opponents such as Lucie Safarova and Peng Shuai there. Venus has advanced to the quarterfinals in Miami without losing a set, claiming straight-set wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia, Maria Patricia Tig and a fantastic 6-3 7-6 win over Indian Wells finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Head to head: Kerber leads this rivalry 4-2 – their recent encounter came in the Wimbledon semis where the German won 6-4, 6-4. On hard courts, Venus leads the HTH 2-1.
Thoughts: This is a classic aggressor-counter pincher encounter. The conditions in Miami will suit Kerber though; Venus will have to retrieve extra balls if she is to hit through Kerber. I’m giving the slight edge to Kerber – but you’ll never know if the German is having a tough day, or Venus is having a splendid day.
Prediction: Kerber to beat V.Williams in three