Venus Williams looks to build on her strong performance at Indian Wells with another deep run in Miami. While sister Serena has won a massive eight titles at the tournament, Venus has just three to her name with all of them coming at the beginning of her career (1998, 1999, 2001). The eighth seed will play Natalia Vikhlyantseva, a qualifier from Russia.
Vikhlyantseva had been steadily moving up the rankings over the past year after making the top 100 for the first time with her semi final run in St Petersburg last year. With that falling off, she will briefly be outside the top 90 until the end of this tournament. She won both qualifying matches in straight sets before her opening round win over Rebecca Peterson, a fellow qualifier.
Venus will hope to bounce back from the disappointing of failing to make the Indian Wells final for the first time, having been two points away before losing to Daria Kasatkina. However, she showed some good form in the run there with wins over Anastasija Sevastova and her sister among them. Venus isn’t any more motivated by beating some of the young players on tour than those in her generation. “I mean, I don’t think about that. Nobody does. People just want to win their match no matter who they play.” she said. Kiki Bertens or Varvara Lepchenko await the winner in round three.
Prediction – Venus Williams in straight sets