Vikhlyantseva vs. Venus
|Date & Time||Friday March 23, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Venus Williams and Natalia Vikhlyantseva meet in the round of 64 in the 2018 Miami Open.
Venus Williams is coming off a semifinals appearance at Indian Wells where she played her best tennis of the short season and improved her record to 4-3 overall. Venus was able to win four straight matches in straight sets before losing a heartbreaking three set marathon match, so she should have her feet under her and ready to compete under the Miami sun. Of course, Venus is no stranger to this tournament, as she’s won the Miami Open three times and made the semifinals last year. However, Venus must be more consistent with her service game and limit the unforced errors if she hopes to make another run at this event. Venus has split her last eight matches on hard court.
Natalia Vikhlyantseva is coming off a straight sets win over Rebecca Peterson that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Vikhlyantseva won 66 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Vikhlyantseva was rather dominant in her victory, winning 62 percent of her service points and 52 percent of her return points. Vikhlyantseva was broken twice in the match, but she fought hard and cruised in the second set where she dropped just one game. Vikhlyantseva has now won three matches to get to this point and could find some success if she can continue to be aggressive with her return. Vikhlyantseva doesn’t have a victory over a top-10 player in her career. Vikhlyantseva has won four of her last five matches on hard court.
This will be the first time these two meet on the tennis court.
Vikhlyantseva has played some decent tennis up to this point and those young legs could give Venus some issues. However, Venus was sharp for the most part in Indian Wells and is no stranger to making a run in this tournament. Venus lives in South Florida and feels very comfortable at the Miami Open. As long as she’s not spraying wild unforced errors, this is a match Venus should win in straight sets.
Venus advances without much issue.