2018 Miami WTA Round 3 Previews: Halep vs Radwanska, Sevastova vs Azarenka

Round three action at the Miami Open will commence on Saturday so it’s time for some match previews! Read on for previews for Halep vs Radwanska and Sevastova vs Azarenka…

1. [1] Simona Halep (No.1) vs [30] Agnieszka Radwanska (No.32)

Halep has has a scintillating year thus far and has compiled a neat 19-2 win-loss record; in four tournaments in 2018, she has reached at least the semifinals in all of them. Her last tournament was in Indian Wells where she made it to the semifinals – though not playing her best tennis throughout the fortnight, it was her fighting spirit that shone through in tough three-set wins against Caroline Dolehide and Petra Martic. In her opening match in Miami, Halep also needed three sets to fend off a feisty and hard-hitting Oceane Dodin where her experience and match fitness was the key factor to her win.

Radwanska’s struggles of late has been well documented and this year has been no different as last year – the Pole has been unable to make deep runs into tournaments as she did in the past and that has resulted in low ranking of No.32. Before coming into Miami, Radwanska was on a three-match losing streak, but managed to get a steady straight sets win over Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round.

Thoughts: The head to head is at 5-5 and this has always been a close rivalry in the past. However their careers have really took a different path since 2017 and Radwanska is very low on confidence right now. Though both play a similar game, Radwanska does not have too many weapons to hurt the World No.1 and Halep is the fitter and more powerful of the two. When it comes to the important moments, Halep is the more clutch player at the moment.

Final Prediction: Simona Halep d. Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets

2. [20] Anastasija Sevastova (No.17) vs Victoria Azarenka (No.186)

Sevastova is coming off a fourth round appearance in Indian Wells where she beat Monica Puig and Julia Goerges before falling to eventual semifinalist Venus Williams. Sevastova has had a typically consistent year with her best run a semifinal appearance in Brisbane; however she has yet to go deep in the bigger events this year and Miami will present her with a challenge to do so in the form of Vika Azarenka.

Azarenka continues to post positive results so early in her comeback having made it one step further in Miami than in IW by reaching the third round. Azarenka produced a pair of peak performances against Catherine Bellis (d. 6-3 6-0) and Madison Keys (won the first set after saving two set points before Keys retired).

Thoughts: Though Sevastova’s level can be relatively inconsistent in matches from time to time, her court craft can still always cause problems for big-hitters. It’ll be an interesting match with different styles and I wonder if Azarenka can handle the slice and dice game from Sevastova, thus I’ve went for the latter.

Final Prediction: Anastasija Sevastova d. Victoria Azarenka in three sets

Miami predictions can be found at the top of the page or by clicking the link here! Thank you for reading!

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