Miami Day 4 Preview

Madison Keys looks to score her first Top 10 victory against two-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka.

Published March 21, 2013 11:59

Miami Day 4 Preview
Madison Keys

MIAMI, FL, USA - The second round at the Sony Open Tennis draws to a close on Friday with Victoria Azarenka headlining proceedings on Stadium against Madison Keys.

Friday, Second Round

[2] Victoria Azarenka (BLR #3) vs. [WC] Madison Keys (USA #76)
first meeting
A string of impressive performances since the start of the year has seen eighteen-year-old Madison Keys earmark herself as one to watch. Now she gets the chance to measure herself against the WTA's best, taking on two-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka and her 17-match winning run.

Despite her unblemished record, question marks surround Azarenka, or, more precisely, her fitness, after she pulled out of her quarterfinal at Indian Wells with an ankle injury. Keys has the power, particularly on the forehand, to get the Belarusian on the move, and - going by her credible showings against Li Na, Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur - is unlikely to be phased by either the opponent or the occasion.

[8] Sara Errani (ITA #7) vs. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK #69)
Hantuchova leads 5-3
No player in 2013 has won more matches than Sara Errani. Last week, the super-fit Italian chalked up numbers 19, 20 and 21 in reaching the Indian Wells quarterfinals and she will have one eye on another deep run in her last event before returning to her beloved red clay.

She has been handed a tricky opening assignment, though, in the form of Daniela Hantuchova. Like Errani, Hantuchova has not enjoyed her previous visits to Miami - neither player has been beyond the fourth round - but her past accomplishments on hardcourts mark her out as a real danger. The players have already met twice this year, Hantuchova triumphing in Brisbane before Errani gained revenge a month later in Doha.

[18] Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #20) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #45)
series tied 1-1
Since returning from a knee injury at the start of the year, Svetlana Kuznetsova has not taken long to get her groove back. Her two wins in Indian Wells - over Andrea Hlavackova and Jelena Jankovic - took her total for the season to 16, with four of these coming against members of the Top 20.

She gets the chance to make it five on Friday when she meets fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Since reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January, Makarova has been in a bit of a rut; her previous three tournaments have brought just one win, the last of which was a confidence denting second round loss to World No.73 Garbiñe Muguruza in Indian Wells.

Also on court…
No.3 seed and four-time Miami finalist Maria Sharapova begins her campaign against teenage qualifier Eugenie Bouchard, while Angelique Kerber, Nadia Petrova, Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko are also in action.

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