Ferro favourite against Zheng? Nice duel for this first round. After a good tournament in Lyon where the Frenchwoman reached the semi-finals, Fiona Ferro showed that she could be competitive on hard court. She is very motivated at the beginning of the season and has the necessary technical skills to beat the Chinese. Indeed, her length of ball and her forehand shift with great power and very good found areas will strongly bother her opponent. In addition, she can vary her game with lifts that she masters well and surprise Zheng with big returns. However, her serve will have to be up to the task, as Fiona makes a lot of double faults and as time goes by, the power of her serve decreases along with her confidence. As for Zheng, she can break the Frenchwoman with very long exchanges at the back of the court. Ferro is a specialist on the surface and has beaten Vondrousova, Zvonareva, Bertens, Keys, Stephens, Sabalenka, Sakkari, Anisimova and Collins in the past. Zheng has already won a title on hard court in San Jose. Alizé Cornet will have a tough match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, even though the 35-year-old Russian is in her final years on the WTA Tour. On the other hand, will Kutznesova manage to go from indoor to outdoor play with a long trip in so few days? This match is a classic on the circuit as the two women have played each other 6 times and have shared the wins so far (3 all). Cornet's fighting spirit could allow her to take at least one set. Cornet is not the favourite because of her disappointing results at the beginning of the season (4 wins for 6 losses). As for Kiki Mladenovic, the mountain seems too high against Danielle Collins. But the Frenchwoman has already beaten the American in 2019 on hard court in China. And lately, she has regained a lot of confidence. She is capable of hitting big shots when her serve is on point. But for that to happen, Mladenovic will have to perform well on her serve, a serve that has betrayed her lately. However, one statistic that doesn't reassure is that Mladenovic has lost her last four first round matches in Miami. The American has had an excellent start to the season (9 wins to 4 losses) with two quarter-finals and a semi-final in four tournaments. She reached the last four here in Florida in 2018. This justifies her status as a strong favourite...  

Anna Kalinskaya vs Camila Irina Begu

The talented 22 year old Russian is present in Miami thanks to a wildcard offered by the organisers. Anna Kalinskaya arrives with more certainty and confidence after a very interesting tournament in Monterrey. She came out of the qualifiers and beat Nadia Podoroska (seeded n°2) in the first round and then the Serbian Stojanovic to reach the quarter-finals. Since she was 17 and entered the top 150, she has been stagnating at the doorstep of the top 100, although she is a talented player who plays a little when she feels like it. In Mexico, she showed another face full of determination and motivation. She is offensive with shots that go off very quickly. She has a certain ease at the net and a service with a lot of variety in terms of spin. Camila Irina Begu is back in the top 100 since the start of the season in August 2020. She was a member of the top 30 between 2015 and 2016. She is having a good start to the year with a quarter final at the Gippsland Trophy and the Phillip Island Trophy. She is more adept at playing on clay but knows how to use her weapons on hard court. She plays from the baseline with a nice length of ball. She likes to vary the length and trajectories to disrupt her opponents. She prefers to play as an outsider rather than a favourite. The Romanian is widely considered the favourite in this match, but the most dangerous player on hard court is the young Eusse. Kalinskaya has shown desire and commitment in her matches since Monterrey. She arrives in Miami as a guest. There is no doubt that she is not coming here to make up the numbers. Her quality of shot and her forward play could well come to bother Begu. The value is clearly on the Russian who has the cards in hand to win this match.

Krystina Pliskova vs Katier Boulter

Krystina Pliskova is indeed Karolina Pliskova's sister. The Czech has had a very complicated start to the season with a first round elimination in each of the tournaments she has played in (Yarra Classic Valley, Australian Open, Doha and Dubai). This player remains a real enigma. She has an undeniable quality of service with her left-handed arm. She offers a game based on her power. However, her mobility is limited by her height. She can quickly find herself in difficulty when the exchange takes place. She will meet Alex De Minaur's partner for this first round. Katie Boulter is slowly coming back to a good level after years of troubles since the end of 2018 (back injury since 2019 and other physical problems). The Briton had made an impressive comeback at the Gippsland Trophy by beating Corri Gauff, Anna Kalinskaya and catching Naomi Osaka in 3 sets. Since then, the results have not been good, with three first round defeats against players who are difficult to move and who vary their game a lot. Boulter likes to play an offensive game. This starts with the service with quality and consistency. In the game, she likes to dictate the rally and take the lead to get to the short end. The bookmakers have Pliskova as the clear favourite. A very surprising status for a player who has not won a first round match all season. The books are probably relying on the ranking of the Briton (319th). However, she has all the arguments to win this match. Apart from the serve, where the Czech is better, Boulter will be able to make the difference in the exchanges with more solidity and aggression. The British player's odds seem to be way out of line despite a little physical discomfort in Monterrey. She was reassuring about her form on social networks.

Katerina Siniakova vs Ana Konjuh

Konjuh started her professional career with success. She won the Australian Open as a junior in singles and doubles, and soon made a name for herself on the big circuit with a third round at Wimbledon at 16 and a first WTA title at 17 on English grass in 2015. In 2016, she had a great run at the US Open, taking out prestigious names like Kiki Bertens and Timea Bacsinsky. She lost in the quarter-finals to Karolina Pliskova. She continued her crazy rise in 2017 where she climbed to 20th in the world. Unfortunately, injuries quickly stopped her momentum. She had to go to the infirmary and undergo an elbow operation. She had to undergo no less than four operations. This year, Errani, Anismova and Gasanova had the better of her. She followed up with a complicated first round against Siniakova. The Czech is solidly attached to the top 100 (she is currently 70th in the world), a very good doubles player (she holds two Grand Slams at Wimbledon and Roland Garros). She already has prestigious wins on hard court against Halep, Osaka and Muguruza. If her serve can be uncertain, she has excellent court coverage. The two women met in 2016 and Konjuh won the match. Another time when Konjuh was flying over the circuit. Five years later, a completely different match will be played. The Czech's experience should enable her to win this match.

Bernarda Pera vs Sara Sorribes

Can Pera surprise Sorribes? The Spaniard has made a dazzling start to the season and has had many excellent results with a title in Guadalajara and a semi-final in Monterrey. From a physical point of view, she could pay for all these efforts, unlike Pera who was able to prepare properly without being caught out by the weather. Moreover, the American is playing at home, even if without a public the energy boost is less present. Pera is very irregular and has started her season badly. The Miami tournament can help her to get back on track and she will be motivated. In the game, Sorribes will be able to rely on her consistency in returning balls to the court without making mistakes. She is very comfortable at the back of the court, but what she lacks is the power and length of her shots. Pera will be able to use this weakness to counter her opponent's game and catch her off guard by going forward and getting inside the court. She is left-handed and we know that this is an advantage against right-handed players. The American is very comfortable with her groundstrokes and finds good areas especially in the most delicate moments. However, she will have to be careful not to make too many unforced errors, which has been the main reason for her poor start to the season. This match could be like their last encounter in Dubai, with many long rallies where neither of them gave up.

Editor's note

⭐️⭐️⭐️ --- ⭐️⭐️ 1 set Kalinskaya ✅ / 1 set Boulter ✅ / 1 set Pera✅ / 1 set Konjuh ✅ / 1 set Cornet✅ ⭐️ Victory Kalinskaya✅ / Victory Boulter✅ / Victory Pera❌ / Victory Konjuh✅ / Victory Cornet✅

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