Miami Open 2021: Sloane Stephens vs Amanda Anisimova Preview, Head-to-Head and Prediction

Published 03/25/2021, 3:05 PM EDT
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 01: Sloane Stephens of USA looks dejected in her match against Johanna Konta of Great Britain during day three of the 2019 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 01, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)


The first WTA 1000 series tournament is here with the Miami Open 2021. The second round brings some exciting clashes. On American soil, there will now be an all-American second-round clash between Sloane Stephens and Amanda Anisimova.

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Sloane Stephens’ worrying form coming into Miami Open 2021

Both Stephens and Anisimova have had a tough start to 2021. Anisimova got tangled with COVID-19 restrictions in Abu Dhabi and thus missed the Australian Open. Whereas Stephens has now only won one match in her last six matches.

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Sloane Stephens of the United States celebrates a point. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Stephens is a former champion in Miami back in 2018. 2017-2018 was when Stephens hit her strides with various titles including a Grand Slam title victory. But since then she has slipped in form.

She was once ranked 3rd, and now she is 49th. What is more shocking is that, before coming to Miami, Stephens had won just a single set. In the first three months of 2021, Stephens has shown little of an improvement in her dreadful form.

Anisimova on the other hand still holds a lot of promise and positivity around her. She is only 19 years old and is ranked 32nd in the world. She had been unlucky for the Australian Open 2021. Amanda was a day late and thus missed the flight to Melbourne.

Despite the Aussie Open hiccup, Anisimova has looked decent elsewhere. She is still a bit rusty on the tour as she has only played a few matches in the past year. Her last match was against Garbine Muguruza at Dubai Tennis Championships which she lost.

Head-to-Head

This will be the first meeting between Sloane Stephens and Amanda Anisimova.

Amanda Anisimova to start as favorite against Sloane Stephens at Miami Open 2021

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First off, Amanda Anisimova has a serious chance of troubling Stephens from the baseline. The 19-year-old is very strong off the baseline. Her strokes have power and depth, which will be hard for Sloane to defend.

Had this been the Stephens of 2017, she would have packed a punch with her athleticism and hand-eye coordination. But Stephens has lost a little of her strengths and now is vulnerable to players with aggressive groundstrokes. So Amanda could trouble her.

One thing that Stephens might use is Amanda’s weak movement. She is not a good defender and thus struggles if the opponent is in control. If Stephens gets a good head start in the match, then Amanda Anisimova could be passed. But given the current form, Anisimova is a favorite.

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Prediction: Amanda Anisimova to win in straight sets

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Bhavishya Mittal

958 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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