Miami Open 2021 Quarterfinals: Ashleigh Barty v Aryna Sabalenka Preview, Head-to-Head & Prediction

Published 03/30/2021, 1:39 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia reacts after winning the first set against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The top seed and defending champion, Ashleigh Barty, will meet Belarusian star Aryna Sabalenka in the Miami Open 2021 quarterfinals. Undoubtedly, a fiery battle will go down at the Grandstand stadium during this clash.

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What makes this match even more interesting is that both players are loaded with confidence from the previous round. The Australian overcame good friend Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 1-6, 6-2, while Sabalenka defeated the 19th seed Markéta Vondroušová 6-1, 6-2.

Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus hits a forehand against Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, they are both chasing their second WTA title of 2021. But comparatively, Barty has more at stake, as an unsuccessful title-defense might cost her to slip from the Top rank. Only Naomi Osaka, champion of the Australian Open 2021, has a chance to take over the World No. 1 spot again.

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The seventh seed, Aryna Sabalenka, will pose a big test for Ashleigh Barty, and even the head-to-head is not in Barty’s favor.

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Ashleigh Barty v Aryna Sabalenka: Head-to-Head

The duo has met each other five times so far, with Sabalenka leading the head-to-head 3-2. They last met in the 2019 Wuhan semifinals, where the Belarusian won 7-5, 6-4.

Barty will have this record in her sight as she takes to the court next time. But can she level the head-to-head battle?

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Barty v Sabalenka: Prediction

Surpassing the two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka should have put the 24-year-old in a great place. Moreover, in 2021, Barty has extensively added topspin in her artillery, and it has worked out well for her.

Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a forehand against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably, her clean hitting with the craft around the net is the deadliest combo in tennis, and she will look forward to putting it to good use against the Belarusian.

But the 22-year-old keeps improving by the day with the support of her bolstering groundstrokes. Sabalenka also has a big serve which might give her the edge against the Aussie star.

However, Barty’s tactical mindset and her flair in building points are legendary. Thus, she is likely to push out another Belarusian on her way to the title.

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The winner will meet the victor from Elina Svitolina – Anastasija Sevastova clash. Will Barty successfully defend her Miami title this year?

Prediction: Barty defeats Sabalenka in the third set.

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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