Both Kiki Bertens and Kiki Mladenovic disappointed at in Key Biscayne yesterday, losing to Na Li and Dominika Cibulkova respectively. Bertens didn’t help herself by serving terribly, throwing in nine double faults in eight service games, to make life easy for the returning Li. Elsewhere, I did say that Julia Goerges shouldn’t be 1.34 against anyone at the moment and she proved me right by losing in two to Ajla Tomljanovic.
First up on Friday is an interesting match between Vika Azarenka and Madison Keys. This one is all about Azarenka’s fitness: the former champion and world number three has been struggling with an ankle injury and it would be no surprise to see another withdrawal or retirement today. Keys has a big game and it’s worth backing her with a 5.5 game start on the handicap today considering Vika’s situation. Keys is priced up at 2.90 on the handicap and that’s worth a bet today.
Elsewhere, Donna Vekic has a chance against Elena Vesnina, as does Anabel Medina Garrigues against Klara Zakopalova. And surely Jelena Jankovic shouldn’t be a 1.12 shot against Victoria Duval, who might give her more of a game than that price suggests.
But I like Silvia Soler-Espinosa to trouble the erratic Sorana Cirstea today on these slow Miami courts. The Spaniard has come through qualifying and after three matches here she’ll be in tune with conditions and could catch Cirstea cold.
Soler-Espinosa defeated Cirstea on clay last season and the latter has lost in the first round here on four of her five visits to Miami. Indeed she’s only ever won one match at the Sony Open lifetime and that was back in 2010. Take the Spaniard either to win at 2.70 or to take a set at 1.65.
Back Keys +5.5 games to beat Azarenka at 2.90
Back Soler-Espinosa +1.5 sets to beat Cirstea at 1.65