Miami Day 1 Preview

The Sony Ericsson Open gets underway on Tuesday with Mona Barthel and Alisa Kleybanova among those in action.

Published March 19, 2012 11:19

Miami Day 1 Preview
Sorana Cirstea

MIAMI, FL, USA - The Sony Ericsson Open gets underway on Tuesday with Sorana Cirstea, Mona Barthel and Alisa Kleybanova among those in first round action.

Tuesday, First Round

[WC] Heather Watson (GBR #129) vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU #48)
first meeting
In four previous visits to Miami, Sorana Cirstea has won just one match. However, the Romanian will be confident of increasing her tally this time around after a solid start to the year, featuring a semifinal appearance in Pattaya City and a return to the Top 50. Her opening round opponent is British wildcard Heather Watson, another player for whom this tournament hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds - she fell at the first hurdle in her only two appearances. Both players have great movement and strike the ball well from the back of the court, although Cirstea's edge in power and experience see her start as favorite.

[WC] Alisa Kleybanova (RUS #248) vs. Johanna Larsson (SWE #64)
Kleybanova leads 1-0
Tuesday's final match on Grandstand will see former World No.20 Alisa Kleybanova make a welcome return to competitive tennis. Kleybanova, who has been suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, takes on Johanna Larsson in her first match for 10 months after receiving a wildcard into the tournament. Despite her inactivity, the Russian can certainly not be discounted; she has a big game and, in Larsson, is taking on a player short on confidence, having won just three matches all year. Their only previous meeting came at the US Open in 2010, when Kleybanova triumphed in straight sets.

Court 1
Mona Barthel (GER #36) vs. Greta Arn (HUN #70)
first meeting
With superb groundstrokes, an aggressive serve and excellent speed around the court, Mona Barthel has all the tools to make it to the top of the game. This much was obvious when she gave Victoria Azarenka all she could handle in Indian Wells two weeks ago, coming within a whisker of ending the World No.1's unbeaten run. Barthel, who is making her Miami debut, will be looking to put this disappointment behind her when she takes on the experienced Greta Arn at Crandon Park. However, Arn will be no pushover, and is also no stranger to upsetting more fancied opponents, having defeated the then World No.18 Dominika Cibulkova earlier this year.

Also on court…
Nine other singles matches will be completed on Tuesday, with Tsvetana Pironkova, Jelena Dokic, Zheng Jie and Irina-Camelia Begu all looking to book their place in the second round.

For more on today's matches,
see our Match Notes in the Press Center.

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