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Miami Open predictions: Gauff to strike on home turf
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Aaron Ashley
Barbora Krejcikova won the Dubai Tennis Championships in February
Barbora Krejcikova won the Dubai Tennis Championships in February

- World No1 Iga Swiatek is the defending champion in Miami 
- Elena Rybakina won the first leg of the sunshine double in Indian Wells last time out 
- Recommended bets: 
- Back Cori Gauff 
- Back Barbora Krejcikova 
- Back Petra Kvitova each-way

Tournament preview

The second leg of the sunshine double sees the WTA Tour players skip from Indian Wells to Miami and 10th seed Elena Rybakina will be hoping to taste more success.

Rybakina defeated world No1 Iga Swiatek and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka on her way to lifting the Indian Wells Masters title last week and is clearly performing at the peak of her powers.

But a quarter-final clash with defending Miami champion Swiatek is again on the cards, while eighth seed Daria Kasatkina, Jessica Pegula and Cori Gauff are also sandwiched in a star-studded top half of the draw.

The bottom half is less competitive but second seed Sabalenka has landed in a tricky section including Barbora Krejcikova and Madison Keys, while Caroline Garcia and Veronika Kudermetova could be potential lurkers in the last eight.

Gauff geared up for title tilt

Despite failing to triumph at Indian Wells, Swiatek remains a worthy favourite to get back on the winning trail and defend her Miami crown.

The Pole is priced at 8/5 with LiveScore Bet but that looks short enough given Rybakina, her conqueror at Indian Wells, is a likely quarter-final opponent.

That could open the draw up for American teenager Gauff, who may have dropped in the weakest section.

The 19-year-old star is already a three-time winner on the WTA Tour, as well as a Grand Slam runner-up, so has shown she has the game to compete with anyone on her day.

Gauff arrives in Miami having made the quarter-finals at Indian Wells, while prior to that she was a semi-finalist at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

That shows the youngster is holding her form well and, in theory, there should be few concerns for her until at least the quarters

Liudmila Samsonova, Anastasia Potapova, Qinwen Zheng are the fellow seeds in her mini section of the draw. 

And even in a potential quarter-final with Pegula or Victoria Azarenka, Gauff is expected to take some beating.

Petra Kvitova's experience could be a key asset
Petra Kvitova's experience could be a key asset

Kvitova could put her experience to good use

With Sabalenka and Krejcikova on course to clash in the quarter-finals, there could also be some each-way value in the bottom half of the draw and Petra Kvitova appeals most to spring a surprise.

The seasoned Czech may not be as good as she once was but her run to the last eight at Indian Wells, where she defeated both Jelena Ostapenko and Pegula, shows she retains plenty of ability.

The 33-year-old lost in three sets to Maria Sakkari in her Californian quarter-final but her draw looks more generous in Miami with Donna Vekic her likely third-round opponent and an out-of-sorts Ons Jabeur her toughest fourth-round test.

Sakkari and Belinda Bencic are likely quarter-final opponents. 

But Sakkari faces a tricky opener against one of two former Grand Slam champions in Emma Raducanu or Bianca Andreescu, whereas Bencic has plenty to prove after an opening-round exit at Indian Wells.

Kvitova is available at 100/1 with LiveScore Bet, which must be too big given her potential route.

Sabalenka could struggle to follow up her recent exploits at Indian Wells and Krejcikova, who won the Dubai Tennis Championships in February and defeated Swiatek and the Belarusian in doing so, may also be worth considering at 10/1 with LiveScore Bet

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