2021 Miami Open Women’s Final Preview and Predictions
The women’s final is set! We’ve got the 2019 defending champion, Ashleigh Barty, against Bianca Andreescu. The fact that these two ladies are in the final is a testament to how talented each of them is. The field in Miami included all the top women’s players in the world, and yet they found a way to win and reach the final.
Let’s not forget that both these ladies have not played that much tennis in the last year. Barty chose to sit out most of the season due to Covid-19, and Andreescu sat out the season after suffering a knee injury during the 2019 WTA finals. Talent doesn’t discriminate though, and it seems that it only takes a few tournaments for players as talented as Andreescu and Barty to get in top form. Let’s take a look at each player’s road to the final.
Andreescu (8) may have had the toughest road to the final. She played three close three-set matches against, Anisimova (28) in the round of 32, Muguruza (12) in the round of 16, Sorribes Tormo in the quarterfinal, and Sakkari (23) in the semifinals. Talk about battle-tested! Andreescu grinded and impressed in all these matches, taking her game up a notch when it mattered. It’s starting to look like 2019 all over again for Andreescu, when she dominated the hard courts at the US Open, Indian Wells, and the Canadian Open, taking those three titles in style.
As tough as Andreescu’s road to the final was, Barty’s wasn’t all that easier. She had to contend with Azarenka (14) in the round of 16, Sabalenka (7) in the quarters, and Svitolina (5) in the semis. She also played three matches that went the distance. She’s definitely looking like the number one player in the world in this tournament and given Osaka’s puzzling exit it would seem as though Barty is now the clear favorite. After all, she loves these Miami courts and is currently on an 11-match winning streak in Miami.
So, who’s got the edge here? This one is really tough to call because both players are so talented and athletic. Also, neither player is prone to giving anything away. I think the key to this match is Barty’s backhand slice. She’s been so effective at breaking down opponents’ strokes with that slice. Remember, both Andreescu and Barty have never played before, and Andreescu is not used to many players feeding her low slice after low slice to the backhand side. If Andreescu can handle that cross-court slice with ease, she’ll have a better chance. If she has trouble with that slice, Barty will take full advantage as she did with Svitolina and Sabalanka on her way to the final. Either way, this should be one of the most interesting matchups of the year!
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