United States’ Coco Gauff makes a backhand return to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
- The first round is complete at the Miami Open, and now the 32 seeded women will begin their quest
- No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty and former champion Victoria Azarenka are among those in action Thursday
- We look at the odds for the 15 matches scheduled, and break down several that might have some upset value
With all 15 matches involving seeded players, only one so far has the seed not listed as the odds-on favorite. Read on to see the odds for each match on Thursday in the round of 64 at the WTA Miami Open, plus our three best bets.
WTA Miami Open Round of 64 Odds
| Ashleigh Barty vs. [Q] Kristina Kucova||TBA|
| Simona Halep vs. Caroline Garcia||-375 / +275|
| Elina Svitolina vs. Shelby Rogers||-132 / +106|
| Aryna Sabalenka vs. [Q] Tsvetana Pironkova||TBA|
| Petra Kvitova vs. Alizé Cornet||-455 / +265|
| Belinda Bencic vs. Zarina Diyas||-220 / +170|
| Victoria Azarenka vs. Laura Siegemund||-400 / +300|
| Iga Swiatek vs. Barbora Krejcikova||-220 / +170|
| Johanna Konta vs. Magda Linette||-210 / +165|
| Madison Keys vs. [WC] Ana Konjuh||-275 / +210|
| Marketa Vondrousova vs. Qiang Wang||-177 / +140|
| Angelique Kerber vs. [Q] Renata Zarazua||-215 / +170|
| Ekaterina Alexandrova vs. Nadia Podoroska||-182 / +148|
| Coco Gauff vs. Anastasija Sevastova||-240 / +185|
| Veronika Kudermetova vs. Danielle Collins||+155 / -195|
All odds taken March 24 from DraftKings
There are a lot of seeds on the schedule Thursday who either have been nursing injuries, or have played very little tennis this year and aren’t in full competitive form.
Plus, it’s 2021. The only surprises are when there are no surprises.
Elina Svitolina vs Shelby Rogers Prediction
These are close odds for a player ranked No. 5 in the world over an opponent ranked No. 52. But Rogers is playing at a near career-best ranking. And she had a very good run in Australia.
The two have met three previous times. All were close; all were won by Elina Svitolina.
But the most recent one was more than 3 1/2 years ago. Neither is the same player she was back then.
Shelby Rogers has come back better than ever after knee surgery. Svitolina is – if not quite in a major funk – definitely searching for the magic.
Her low point came in Doha a few weeks ago, where opponent Victoria Azarenka was cripped by a lower back injury – and still beat her.
Rogers hasn’t played Miami since 2017 (because of the knee). But she’s well used to the conditions having grown up in South Carolina, and now based in Florida.
Plus, she already has a first-round match under her belt while this will be the opener for Svitolina.
Best Bet: Rogers (+106)
Veronika Kudermetova vs Danielle Collins Prediction
One reason this Miami Open matchup is the only one Thursday in which the seed is not the favorite is because there are only three spots between them in the rankings.
The 23-year-old Russian, ranked No. 37, grabbed the 32nd and final seed. Danielle Collins is just three spots behind her at No. 40.
As well, the 27-year-old American has significantly more experience, and is playing in her home state.
In her Miami debut in 2018 (ranked No. 93), Collins went all the way from the qualifying to the semifinals.
Collins had a match Wednesday to get warmed up. Veronika Kudermetova had to travel from St. Petersburg, Russia where she was playing indoors and had a first-round bye.
The two have never faced each other. Playing Collins – nicknamed “Danimal” is … an experience you need to get used to.
Dynasty’s Danielle Collins is on to the second round of the @MiamiOpen! Congratulations on your dominant 6-3, 6-3 victory. We can’t wait to support you on Friday!
— Dynasty FP (@DynastyFP) March 24, 2021
The American also just inked a brand-new sponsor, a financial services company. So she’ll be motivated to give them more to work with by making a deep run this week at the Miami Open.
Best Bet: Collins (-195)
Coco Gauff vs Anastasija Sevastova Prediction
Now, this one is intriguing.
Anastasija Sevastova, a 30-year-old from Latvia, is ranked No. 57 at the moment. But she was up as high as No. 11 less than 18 months ago.
Her mix of power and slice and spins is the type of game that can get a hard-hitting and relatively inexperienced player like Coco Gauff into trouble.
And indeed, the first and only time they met, Sevastova pulled off a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win in the first round of last summer’s US Open.
And it wasn’t as though Sevastova was having much of a season, either.
The circumstances were somewhat similar – a first round, in a very big tournament, with Gauff already facing expectations well beyond what would be healthy at her age.
Gauff had a long trip to start the season, going to the Middle East after Australia. She was a fairly agitated character on court much of that time, as the reality is sinking in she’s the hunted now, not the hunter.
After a little time at home with her little brothers, it’s going to be a challenge to go right out and rev it all up again at the Miami Open.
This one smells like an upset.
Best Bet: Sevastova (+185)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.