Miami Open, ???? R1 Match Preview
?? Sara Errani vs ?? Belinda Bencic
Injuries have plagued the progress of both Sara Errani and Belinda Bencic in recent times, the pair have stumbled to outside the top 100 in the rankings. Clearly, both ladies belong much higher than their current rankings suggest and both will enter this contest extremely desperate for a victory to kick-start their build back up the rankings. Bencic has won the only two previous matches between the pair but both have struggled in recent times having each won just two matches in 2017.
Sara Errani showed signs of her gutsy best in her last tournament at the BNP Paribas Open. Errani came from a set down to battle past Mandy Minella in an epic contest before pushing Barbora Strycova all the way in a close three set match. Errani has lost 11 of her last 14 matches on tour, seemingly losing depth on her forehand and perhaps not moving as well as she once did. It will be interesting to see if Errani can rediscover the form that saw remain in the top 10 for an extended period.
Belinda Bencic has also struggled in 2017. Bencic has been dealt a couple of brutal draws, already drawing a top seed in the opening round on two occasions, including Serena Williams at the Australian Open. Arriving in Indian Wells, Bencic had lost 11 of her last 12 matches on the WTA tour. Bencic was able to claim one victory in the Californian desert, just like Errani. Bencic defeated Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets but threw in a poor performance in the next round as she was beaten by Kiki Bertens in straight sets.
Bencic holds a perfect 2-0 record over Errani. Their most recent match ended in a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 win for Bencic in Brisbane last year. Typically, this is a good match-up for Bencic as she can consistently hit through Errani, especially on a hard court. I think this is a good opportunity for Bencic after a couple of rough draws, Bencic is one player that is good at taking advantage of Errani’s weak serve, I think Bencic will find some form here and will be too strong for Errani on thus surface.