Skip to content
en-gb GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Tennis

Miami Open: Five WTA players to watch

The second leg of the Sunshine Double gets underway in Miami on Tuesday and in the women's event all eyes will be on Elena Rybakina as she bids to follow up her victory at the Indian Wells Masters.

World number one Iga Swiatek became just the fourth woman in history to complete the Sunshine Double with last season's successes at Indian Wells and Miami, and Kazakh world number seven Rybakina is out to repeat the feat.

Those two could be on course to clash in the quarter-final, however, and Rybakina may be optimistic about her chances after a convincing 6-2 6-2 semi-final victory over Swiatek in California last time out.

Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina, Jessica Pegula and Victoria Azarenka, a three-time winner of this event in Miami, are also housed in what is a star-studded top half.

The competition is equally as fierce in the bottom half of the draw as Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Ons Jabeur, Caroline Garcia, Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari are among those battling it out for a place in the final.

WhatWTA Miami
WhereMiami Gardens, Florida, USA
WhenTuesday 21st March - Sunday 26th March
How to watchAmazon Prime
OddsIga Swiatek 13/5, Aryna Sabalenka 11/2, Elena Rybakina 13/2, Barbora Krejcikova 17/2, Jessica Pegula 11/1, Coco Gauff 16/1, Belinda Bencic 22/1

Swiatek hoping to defend her crown

Swiatek won the Miami Open without dropping a set last year, following up her victory at Indian Wells, and the Polish phenomenon is a 13/5 chance to defend her crown.

However, Swiatek was no match for Rybakina in California last week - she was emphatically beaten in straight sets in just over an hour - and the pair may renew their rivalry in the quarter-final in Miami.

The positive is that Swiatek may now be fresher than reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina, but that defeat shows she is not in as formidable form as this time last season.

The world number one should have few early concerns as Beatriz Haddad Maia, Jelena Ostapenko and Martina Trevisan are the fellow seeds in her mini-section, but a last-eight duel with Rybakina would pose serious questions.

When at the top of her game, Swiatek, who at 21 years of age already has three Grand Slam titles to her name, has shown she is a cut above the rest of the WTA Tour.

But the Warsaw native was also beaten in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships by Krejcikova at the end of February, suggesting she may not yet be at her dominant best.

Related Tennis News

Week Ahead: Carlos Alcaraz eyes second Miami title

Tennis: Five breakout stars to watch on the 2023 WTA Tour

Rybakina eyeing spring double

After her impressive victory at Indian Wells, Rybakina is eyeing the spring double in Miami and on current form the classy Kazakh is a danger to all.

The 23-year-old claimed her maiden Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon last season and showed there was no fluke about that performance when finishing runner-up at the Australian Open in January.

Rybakina was beaten by Sabalenka in that Melbourne title decider but got some revenge on the Belarusian when beating her in the Indian Wells Masters final.

Rybakina dropped only one set across her six tournament matches in California but the 10th seed has another tricky-looking draw with Paula Badosa and Kasatkina likely opponents before a potential quarter-final rematch with Swiatek.

Following up is possible, as shown by Swiatek last season, but it is a demanding task and quotes of 13/2 mean there may be better value to be had.

Consistent Sabalenka bidding to go one better

Sabalenka is a prolific winner on the WTA Tour - she has 12 career titles to her name - but she has broken new ground this season after claiming her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.

That Major breakthrough came on the back of a warm-up title in Adelaide and her two tournament appearances since victory in Melbourne have seen her reach the quarter-final in Dubai and finish runner-up at Indian Wells.

Sabalenka had got the better of Krejcikova, Gauff and Sakkari before bumping into eventual champion Rybakina, with her losing the first set in a tense tiebreak.

The raw power Sabalenka possesses means she can simply bulldoze her way past any opponent and, if able to keep down the unforced errors, is difficult to live with.

She has performed as consistently as anyone so far this season so is likely to have her supporters at 11/2, although a fourth-round clash with Krejcikova could be a defining match in the destination of the title.

Krejcikova could bounce back to form

Krejcikova was beaten in three sets by Sabalenka in the last-16 at Indian Wells last time out, but the Czech talent should be hopeful of getting her own back were they to meet at the same stage in Miami.

It is worth remembering that it was a quick turnaround for Krejcikova, who had previously claimed a title in Dubai having made seriously light work in a talented field.

Krejcikova not only overcame Sabalenka in that tournament, but she also defeated Kasatkina, Kvitova, Pegula and Swiatek so, refreshed and refocused, the 2021 French Open champion could bounce back to form.

The 27-year-old has a nice early draw and recent meetings suggest there is little between her and Sabalenka, making her a much tastier price at 17/2.

Gauff geared up for tilt at the title

With some of the WTA Tour's leading lights set to lock horns early on in Miami, Gauff could be one of those best-placed to capitalise.

The American 19-year-old, who is already a Grand Slam runner-up, is one of the game's brightest stars and has been performing admirably all season.

The Atlanta native claimed her third WTA Tour title at the ASB Classic in January, was a quarter-finalist in Indian Wells, and a semi-finalist at the Dubai Championships prior to that.

That suggests she could be ready to strike and she has landed in a nice part of the draw as the fellow seeds in her mini-section - Liudmila Samsonova, Anastasia Potapova and Qinwen Zheng - are a long way off her peak level.

The teenage sensation could meet Rybakina or Swiatek in the semi-final but she may be able to save some energy for that showdown, which is why 16/1 may be a tempting investment for bettors.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.