WTA Miami has been a blast and the fascinating matchups continue Friday.
I’ve found value on two fascinating matches — Kalinina vs Kenin and Zhang vs Andreeva.
Read on for my WTA Miami picks for March 24.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA Miami Odds, Picks
Anhelina Kalinina (-120) vs Sofia Kenin (+102)
2 p.m. ET
Anhelina Kalinina last played in Indian Wells, where she fell 6-3, 2-6, 4-6 in a low-quality, second-round match to Maria Sakkari. Kalinina won just 60% of her first serves, was broken five times and had to face 11 double faults. The Ukrainian hit eight double faults.
On return, Kalinina won 54% of her second-serve returns, but just 29% of her first-serve returns, breaking on three occasions.
Kalinina is now 10-7 on the season, with all matches on hard courts. For her career, the Ukrainian has a strong 154-96 record on hard courts. Kalinina typically gets consistent depth from the baseline and has a high tennis IQ. However, Kalinina has recently lost some of her rally tolerance and is often bailing out of rallies early. She’s also lost some control over her groundstrokes.
Sofia Kenin played a strong opening match in Miami, beating Storm Hunter 6-0, 7-6(5). Kenin won 64% of her service points and was only broken twice all match. On return, the American won 53% of her return points, including 62% on Hunter’s second serve, breaking five times.
Kenin, who won the 2020 Australian Open title (hard), has a 161-102 record on hard courts as a professional. And while Kenin is just 7-7 on hard courts this season, she’s shown she can compete at the highest level on this surface. The American is solid from both wings and gets good precision on her groundstrokes. Kenin can dictate play while staying consistent and is a smart player.
I am not impressed with what I’ve seen from Kalinina recently. Her consistency has not been there and she’s made some bad decisions from the baseline. Kalinina has also struggled to ramp up the pace on her groundstrokes.
Kenin should be able to hang in rallies with Kalinina, but she’s also playing offense at a much higher level than the Ukrainian.
Expect Kenin to be in charge of the majority of the rallies. Kenin should be able to manipulate the ball around the court until either Kalinina leaves the ball short or the American forces an error.
Pick: Kenin Moneyline (+102 via FanDuel)
Shuai Zhang (-146) vs Erika Andreeva (+124)
5 p.m. ET
Shuai Zhang attempted to play Indian Wells, but retired down 0-3 to Rebecca Peterson. It was a disastrous three games for Zhang, who won just 4/16 of the total points played before she pulled the plug. Zhang has now lost her past five matches and has won just one set during that time.
Zhang has a 426-280 career record on hard courts, but is 4-8 on the surface this year and has struggled to gain any momentum. Zhang typically has a big first serve that she uses to get ahead in her service games, but she has failed to win 60% of her first serves in four of her past five matches.
At her best, Zhang can hit punishing groundstrokes, especially from her forehand wing. Yet, recently, Zhang’s rally tolerance has plummeted and she’s often lost control over her groundstrokes.
Erika Andreeva did well to defeat Ashlyn Krueger 7-5, 6-2 in the opening round of Miami. Andreeva won 64% of her service points, including 61% on her second serve, and was broken twice. The Russian also won 50% of her return points, breaking on five occasions.
Andreeva improved to 10-8 this season, with all matches on hard courts. As a professional, Andreeva is 47-26 on hard courts. While the Russian doesn’t do anything spectacular, she is solid from both wings and gets good depth from the baseline. Andreeva can hit with moderate power through openings, has a high tennis IQ and anticipates well.
Andreeva is a solid player who will put a lot of balls into play and force Zhang to work hard from the baseline. The Russian should force Zhang to press from the baseline, causing her to overhit on her groundstrokes as she tries to do too much.
In addition, Andreeva returned well against Krueger, which bodes well for her against Zhang’s big serve (although Zhang’s serve has been poor recently).
Zhang is completely out of form and her health is in question for this match. Trusting Zhang in this scenario is certainly a scary proposition.
Look for Andreeva to pull the upset.
Pick: Andreeva Moneyline (+124 via FanDuel)