Ashleigh Barty vs Bianca Vanessa Andreescu
WTA Miami 2021 - Apr, 3rd 2021.
Closing odds - money line
A. Barty vs B. Andreescu Prediction (from BetzCenter's Experts)
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Barty to Retain Miami Open Title
This week has already seen Ashleigh Barty keep her world number one spot. Now she takes on Bianca Andreescu attempting to become the first player since Serena Williams to retain this title.
Barty won this title the last time it was held in 2019. This is her first overseas tournament since the 2020 Qatar Total Open last February. The Australian then opted not to travel during the pandemic so missed the rest of the year, including the US and French Open tournaments. A change in how the rankings are calculated has helped her retain her number one world ranking. A win here will show that she deserves her ranking, however it is worked out.
The Australian has won the Yarra Valley Classic this year. However, she only reached the last eight of the Australian Open, losing to Karolina Muchova. The following week, Barty had an early exit in the Adelaide Classic and missed the tournaments held in Qatar and Dubai. Back on court for the defence of this title, Barty has been putting in some impressive performances.
It's been tough at times though with a trio of three-setters against Kristina Kucova, Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka. All those wins saw her win the first set and when she does that, a win tends to follow. No three-setter in her semi-final as she beat Elena Svitolina for the loss of just six games. Barty did need treatment for an ab problem and her serving did slow down a bit in the second set. Hopefully the Australian will be ok for this final. This is the first time she has faced Andreescu in her career.
Andreescu Back in Form
Bianca Andreescu is the world number nine but has been as high in her career. The Canadian had a meteroric rise in 2019 winning at Indian Wells, the Canadian Open and the US Open. A knee injury and the suspension of the WTA circuit meant she didn't play at all last year. This year has seen her slowly return to something like her best.
Andreescu lost in the second round of the Australian Open but then made it to the last four of the Phillip Island Trophy in mid-February. This is her first tournament since then and she's made it all the way to the final. Andreescu dropped a set in her third round win over 28th seeded Amanda Anisimova, losing the second set on a tie-break.
While the Canadian was missing the tournaments held in the Middle East, Garbine Muguruza was in top form. It was an impressive performance for Andreescu to get a three-set win over her in the fourth round. Particularly so as she lost the first set to the Spaniard. Andreescu dominated the rest of the match losing just five games, but can she hope to do that against Barty?
Will she even have the energy to do so? Andreescu made it four successive three-setters with wins over Sara Sorribes Torma and Maria Sakkari in the last eight and semi-finals respectively. Barty is the hot favourite here and rightly so. The Australian can win the title for a second time.