The Miami Open has been so much fun to watch so far and the fascinating matchups continue on Sunday.
I’ve found value on two of Sunday’s matchups, featuring Vondrousova vs Pliskokva and Kvitova vs Vekic.
Read on for my Miami Open picks for March 26.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
Miami Open Odds, Picks
Marketa Vondrousova (-134) vs Karolina Pliskova (+114)
11 a.m. ET
Marketa Vondrousova comfortably defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-2 to advance in Miami. Vondrousova won 64% of her service points and was only broken twice. On return, the Czech won 51% of her return points and broke on five occasions.
Vondrousova has improved her hard-court record to 12-5 in 2023. For her career, Vondrousova is an impressive 140-56 on hard. The Czech has a heavy lefty forehand that she uses to control the baseline. Vondrousova places her groundstrokes very well, spreading the court and getting good depth while staying consistent. She absorbs pace well too.
Karolina Pliskova eased past Xinyu Wang 6-2, 6-4 to help set up this showdown with Vondrousova. Despite winning just 44% of her second-serve points, the Czech won 74% of her first serves and only got broken twice. Pliskova won 52% of her return points and managed to break five times.
She is now an impressive 16-6 on hard courts this season. As a professional, the Czech is an amazing 384-204 on the surface. Pliskova has a big first serve and can hit precise groundstrokes into small targets. She is patient on court and has a high tennis IQ.
However, Pliskova’s rally tolerance can sometimes dip and her movement is mediocre.
Both players have had strong starts to the season, but I think that Vondrousova starts to reverse the head-to-head here.
Vondrousova is hitting her forehand very well at the moment and she should drag Pliskova around the court from this wing. This should expose Pliskova’s movement issues and wear her down.
This is especially important given the heat and humidity in Miami.
Vondrousova also does an incredible job at absorbing pace and gets a lot of returns into play, which should help her blunt Pliskova’s power. The conditions in Miami, while not slow, are not quick enough that Pliskova will be able to blast through Vondrousova.
Pick: Vondrousova ML (-134 via FanDuel)
Petra Kvitova (-180) vs Donna Vekic (+142)
2:15 p.m. ET
Petra Kvitova easily defeated an out-of-sorts Linda Noskova, winning 6-3, 6-0. Kvitova won 74% of her service points and was only broken once all match. On return, Kvitova won 76% of her second-serve returns and 59% of her return points overall, breaking six times.
Kvitova is now a strong 11-5 on hard courts this season. For her career, she has an amazing 397-194 mark on hard. Kvitova has a big lefty serve and plays aggressively from the baseline, particularly with her forehand wing. She can take the racquet out of her opponents’ hands.
But, Kvitova’s rally tolerance has declined in recent years, her movement is suspect and she struggles with her fitness, especially in heat and humidity.
Donna Vekic recovered from a set deficit to beat Madison Brengle 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Vekic won 78% of her first serves, but hit 11 double faults and only won 33% of her second serves. This allowed the Croat to be broken on five occasions. Vekic was all over Brengle’s serve, winning 48% of her return points and breaking six times.
She is now 12-3 on hard courts this year, having also reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Vekic has a big first serve that gets her plenty of free points. She hits with controlled aggression from the baseline, having found her rally tolerance once more over the past six months. The Croat hits into small targets with pace.
With that said, Vekic’s second-serve performance against Brengle will not be acceptable against Kvitova.
While Kvitova destroyed Noskova, Noskova played a very poor match and didn’t test Kvitova physically much at all. Vekic should be able to hang in rallies much more and test the Czech’s legs.
Vekic also has the power to force Kvitova on the defensive much more than she would want to be. Given Miami’s heat and humidity, that’s a particularly worrying prospect for Kvitova.
The younger competitor’s first serve should continue to be effective, especially given that Kvitova’s return is not a strength.
Pick: Vekic +3.5 games (-140 via PointsBet)
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