Victoria Azarenka vs Karolina Pliskova WTA Miami tennis Preview and Live Stream: Azarenka and Pliskova meet in heavyweight Miami clash

Leye Aduloju in WTA 27 Mar 2018
  • Victoria Azarenka vs Karolina Pliskova is live from Miami on Tuesday, 27 March from 7:30pm local time/ 12:30am BST (Wednesday morning)
  • Azarenka leads head-to-head 2-1, 1-1 on hard courts
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Miami online at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Victoria Azarenka. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka seeks her eleventh straight win at the Miami Open, and a spot in the semi-finals when she takes on Czech, Karolina Pliskova on Tuesday.

Victoria Azarenka vs Karolina Pliskova is live from Miami on Tuesday, 27 March from 7:30pm local time/ 12:30am BST (Wednesday morning) 
Watch and bet on tennis live from Miami online at Unibet > live streaming > tennis

Azarenka is a three-time champion in Miami, with her most recent success coming in her last visit in 2016, when she ripped through a difficult draw without dropping a set. The Belarusian took out Garbine Muguruza, Johanna Konta and Angelique Kerber in consecutive rounds before beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. That remains the most recent of Azarenka’s 20 career titles, with pregnancy, child birth, and a lengthy custody battle restricting the two-time Grand Slam champion to just six tournaments between then and the 2018 Miami Open.

After giving birth to her first child in December, Azarenka returned to the tour in Mallorca in 2017, her first tournament in almost a year. She then played at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round, but she then embarked on another extended break due to the aforementioned custody battle with her former partner.

Azarenka eventually made her comeback at Indian Wells, reaching the second round, but she has stepped it up a notch in Miami, where she has advanced to her first WTA quarter final since winning the title in 2016. The former world number one opened her account with a dominant 6-3 6-0 victory over the dominant CiCi Bellis, before moving past Madison Keys, who unfortunately had to retire with injury. Azarenka backed that up with a tough three-set win against Anastasija Sevastova before scoring a 6-2 6-2 victory Agnieszka Radwanska in a battle of former champions.

“I played my game, and I was doing what was working,” Azarenka said after beating Radwanska. 
“I was aggressive, I was using my opportunities to step up, and I put pressure. “I'm pretty happy that I was able to play consistent throughout the whole match.”


Azarenka next takes on Karolina Pliskova, who is looking to reach the semi-finals in Miami for the second straight year. Pliskova made the last four in 2017 during a blistering start to the season which also yielded titles in Brisbane, Doha and Eastbourne, and a brief spell at No. 1 in the world.

Karolina Pliskova. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
However, she has stagnated somewhat in the last few months, consistently making quarter finals and semi-finals without necessarily pushing for titles. This is the eighth time she would reach the last eight of a WTA tournament since her Eastbourne success, while she has made just three semi-finals, and no finals within that nine-month timeframe.

She opened her season with a semi-final in Brisbane, where she was beaten by Elina Svitolina, and then made the quarter finals of the Australian Open, falling to Simona Halep. The Czech was taken down by CiCi Bellis in the second round in Doha, before suffering quarter final defeats in Dubai and Indian Wells to Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka respectively. She has generally struggled against her fellow top-ten players this year, which explains why she has been faltering at the latter stages of tournaments.

Pliskova hasn’t exactly breezed through the Miami draw- she beat Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 7-5 in the second round before edging past Su-Wei Hsieh in a third set tie break in the third round. She enjoyed her easiest outing in the fourth round, moving in to the quarters when Zarina Diyas retired trailing 6-2 2-1.

Azarenka owns a 2-1 record over Pliskova, with the pair tied at 1-1 in their hard-court meetings. Pliskova carries the heavier artillery with the big serves and booming ground strokes, but Azarenka, who is no slouch off the ground it must be said, counters that with her terrific returning and movement. Azarenka has obviously enjoyed her trips to Miami over the years- the tournament does seem to bring out the best in the Belarusian, like it has once again done this year. I’m leaning towards the two-time Grand Slam winner to maintain her winning streak in Miami.

Victoria Azarenka vs Karolina Pliskova is live from Miami on Tuesday, 27 March from 7:30pm local time/ 12:30am BST (Wednesday morning)


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Victoria Azarenka vs Karolina Pliskova WTA Miami tennis Preview and Live Stream: Azarenka and Pliskova meet in heavyweight Miami clash

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