Miami Open, ????? R1 Preview
?? Madison Brengle vs ?? Aryna Sabalenka
Madison Brengle and Aryna Sabalenka will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the 2018 Miami Open. This will be a fascinating encounter because of the extreme contrast in styles and personalities. Brengle is a very defensive player with not many weapons at her disposal whilst Sabalenka is as aggressive as it gets and has damaging weapons. Brengle will look to make life tough for Sabalenka by throwing all types of looks at the Belarusian, can Sabalenka maintain her composure and get passed the American?
Madison Brengle is yet to claim a main draw victory at the WTA tour level in 2018. Brengle managed to fight through the qualifying draw in Indian Wells but was eliminated in the opening round of the main draw by Marketa Vondrousova, a fairly uncompetitive 2-6 2-6 defeat for the American. Brengle’s best result of late was her triumph at the ITF 100K event in Midland early last month. Brengle has had some decent results in Miami in the past, including a third round appearance in 2016, the conditions in Miami are pretty good for Brengle.
Aryna Sabalenka continues to rise. Sabalenka had a decent week in Indian Wells, claiming straight set victories over Varvara Lepchenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova before succumbing to Marketa Vondrousova in the third round. Sabalenka’s win over Kuznetsova was a notable one, even though it was Kuznetsova first match of the season, Kuznetsova is always tough to beat. Sabalenka’s talent is undeniable but her shot selection and ability to control her immense power is still a big work in progress.
In the first career meeting between the pair, this is a good match-up for Sabalenka to display her improvement. There is no doubt that Sabalenka has all the weapons to handily defeat Brengle but Sabalenka can lose control in these match-ups against defensive players and hand her opponent victory with unforced errors.