Miami Open, ???? R1 Match Preview
?? Eugenie Bouchard vs ?? (wc) Ashleigh Barty
An intriguing opening round clash at the Miami Open sees Eugenie Bouchard come up against Ashleigh Barty. Eugenie Bouchard arrives in Miami on the back of a bitterly disappointing opening round loss to Annika Beck in Indian Wells and will be extremely keen to avoid a repeat disappointment in this match. Ashleigh Barty will be no pushover, the young Australian is rapidly rising the rankings, currently at a career high after winning her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur last month and pushing into the top 100 for the first time.
Eugenie Bouchard showed some impressive form during the Australian summer but enters the Miami Open fresh off two disappointing first round exits. Bouchard was beaten by Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets in Acapulco and was beaten by Annika Beck in three sets in Indian Wells. Bouchard still seems to be struggling to bridge the gap between her best tennis and her worst tennis. It is important for the Canadian to reverse her recent form as quickly as possible because we have seen that Bouchard can spiral into consecutive losses when her confidence is low. Bouchard has only won one main draw match in Miami, this will be her fifth appearance at the event.
Unlike Bouchard, Ashleigh Barty arrives in Miami in winning form. The Australian won her first WTA title a couple of weeks ago, coming through the qualifying draw to win the title in Kuala Lumpur. Barty has already won 13 matches this year, including a couple of important wins at the Australian Open. Importantly, Barty is unlikely to be daunted by this occasion having already played some big matches on big courts during the Australian summer including showdown with Angelique Kerber in Brisbane where she took a set off the German.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair, it will be intriguing to see how this one eventuates. I’m going to side with Bouchard on this occasion. Barty likes to dictate and have time on the ball, I think Bouchard is the type of player that can rush Barty and put her off her game. Bouchard is due for a good week and should enjoy the conditions in Miami. The biggest factor will probably be the serve, whoever maintains a higher first serve percentage will probably win as the second offering from each lady will be under huge pressure here.