Keys vs. Azarenka
|Date & Time||Thursday March 22, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Madison Keys meet in the round of 64 in the 2018 Miami Open.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Catherine Bellis that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Azarenka won 67 percent of her first serve points and 64 percent of her second serve points. Azarenka looked really sharp in a victory over a respectable opponent, which included winning 63 percent of her return points and producing seven breaks. Azarenka didn’t look like a player who has missed a ton of time on the tennis court and will fly up the rankings rather quickly if she can repeat such performances. At this point it becomes about conditioning, as the Miami sun is no joke, and fitness will be tested for a player who has such little matches under her belt. But for now, you have to be thrilled with what you saw from Azarenka. Azarenka has won 10 of her last 11 matches on hard court.
Madison Keys is off to a rough 5-4 start in 2018 and is coming off a first match exit in Indian Wells. Keys is coming off a match in which she won just 57 percent of her first serve points and was broken five times. In her loss in Doha, Keys won just 33 percent of her second serve points and was broken five times. Keys clearly is struggling to find her form, which is rather surprising given her run at the Australian Open. The good news is that once Keys gets on track, she has the power and shotmaking ability to overwhelm just about anybody she faces. Keys is also usually at her best on fast hard courts, so this could be a tournament to help get her back on track. Keys has lost three of her last four matches on hard court.
This will be their first time meeting on the tennis court.
Kind of amazing these two have never played one another, so get ready for an intriguing battle. Keys is tough to trust in her current form and Azarenka looked fabulous in her last match. However, I’m giving Keys the benefit of the doubt and backing her to win this match. She can’t struggle this badly for long, and I still have questions about Azarenka making a deep run given her lack of play. It’s going to take time.
I’ll take Keys in a competitive match.