After an early loss at Indian Wells, Petra Kvitova looks to bounce back in Miami. The Czech comes into the tournament still at No.2 in the rankings, with a title making it a strong possibility that she could take the top spot for the first time. Kvitova opens up against Maria Sakkari in what will be their first career meeting.
Sakkari move into the top 30 for a brief period of time last year but it has not been a great time for her since then. She went on a five match losing streak from that point and has a record of 3-5 in 2019, including a bad loss to Christina McHale at Indian Wells. She opened her account in Miami with a win over Olga Danilovic, coming back from 6-1 2-0 down to win in three.
Kvitova was also an opening round loser at Indian Wells although her loss to Venus Williams raises a lot less concern, even if she blew a 6-4 3-0 lead in the process. The Czech will hope to improve on her recent runs in Miami, where the hot conditions have not been too kind too her. She has made the quarter finals just once and was a fourth round loser last year.
With the match scheduled for late afternoon/early evening, the worst of the Miami weather should be avoided by Kvitova. The No.1 ranking has to be a realistic target for her this year but it will require her to deal with matches like this in fairly routine style. The winner faces Donna Vekic or Sara Sorribes Tormo in round three.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in straight sets