Miami Open, ????? SF Prediction
?? (13) Sloane Stephens vs. ?? (wc) Victoria Azarenka
To view my match preview fort this match: Click here
I’m going to side with Azarenka here. I think Azarenka is playing well enough to reverse the result of their match in Indian Wells a few weeks ago where Stephens won 6-1 7-5. Azarenka played a poor match against Stephens in Indian Wells which was understandable given she was competing in her first event since Wimbledon last year. 5 wins later in Miami at a tournament that Azarenka has won on 3 previous occasions, she looms as a much tougher test for Stephens this time around.
Historically this has been a great match-up for Azarenka who holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Stephens. What gives Azarenka the edge in this match-up is her more aggressive court positioning and commitment to commanding the point and moving up the court whilst more often than not Stephens is happy to sit back and grind away from behind the baseline. Azarenka has been sharp all tournament and I think this spells trouble for Sloane as Azarenka will not make the same mistakes that she made against the American in Indian Wells.
Azarenka is returning serve better than Stephens and is more dangerous at the net, these are two key factors that give Azarenka the edge in this match. Overall, I think this will be a close match, a match that is likely to go the distance. The braver, more aggressive player is likely to come out on top, I believe that will be Azarenka.