TennisSection previews the 2021 Miami Open as Ashleigh Barty (1) meets Jelena Ostapenko in the Third Round on Saturday, March 27th 2021.
Will Jelena Ostapenko be able to come out here and show us all that she is able to come back after a few years of inconsistency and injury issues? Will Ashleigh Barty finally be used to the conditions and be able to cruise through her matches here in Miami? Both players had to come through tight Second Round matches, and only one will come through this Third Round encounter. Who will it be?
Jelena Ostapenko had to fight very hard in her Second Round match, beating the Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in 3 sets, 6-2/5-7/6-3. Ostapenko is one of the most underrated players on the WTA Tour and this is definitely due to the lack of consistency and injury issues she has faced over the last few years. Ostapenko is one of the most competitive and passionate players on the WTA Tour, always leaving it all out on the court in the hopes of winning. Ostapenko will want to prove to everyone that she will come out here in 2021 and will give it her all to win some titles or make the later stages of very big tournaments. Ostapenko will have to raise her level in this third round match, but she will be confident in her game as she has already beaten Ashleigh Barty in the past.
Ashleigh Barty had to get acclimatised to the conditions here in Miami and this was shown in her first match here in the Second Round. Barty was able to come through a very tight match against Kristina Kucova, beating the Serbian in 3 sets 6-3/4-6/7-5. Barty will be happy that she got that match under her belt, as this has now allowed her to ensure she is ready for some big fights. Barty has not played much over the last year, and she will definitely have some more tight matches to come as she looks to get on top of her game before she heads over the Europe in the next few weeks. Will Barty continue her title defense campaign here in Miami as she looks to beat Jelena Ostapenko in this very exciting and tight Third Round encounter?
Ashleigh Barty and Jelena Ostapenko have met 3 times before, with Ashleigh Barty leading the head to head 2-1. The last time they met was in the second round of the 2019 Sydney Open where Barty won in straight sets. The last time that Ostapenko beat Barty was in 2017 in Rome in a very tight 3-set encounter. I do see Ostapenko stealing a set here as Barty will still be getting used to the courts and to playing lots of tennis competitively. However, at the end of the day, I still see Ashleigh Barty winning this match and making her way to the Fourth Round as she looks to defend her 2019 Miami Masters Title.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Ashleigh Barty in 3 Sets.