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Tuesday tennis acca tips: Simona Halep to win on WTA Tour return

Planet Sport presents selected picks for the WTA 1000 Miami Open Round of 128.

Simona Halep's dramatic return to tennis this week will be one of the main focuses of fans and pundits at the Miami Open.

The round of 128 does not feature the top 32 seeds who all enjoy a bye through the opening round of the 98-player tournament.

Halep was handed a wildcard and will face a player going through an injury nightmare at the moment, in Paula Badosa.

Badosa has been plagued by a niggling back injury that has repeatedly flared up preventing her from building momentum on tour.

There are plenty of comeback narratives to track at the Miami Open, with Noami Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Emma Raducanu all slated to be in action on Tuesday.

The tight schedule means that some of our selected matches may be bumped to Wednesday.

Here we make selected picks for the WTA 1000 Miami Open Round of 128.

 

WTA Miami: Diana Shnaider vs Venus Williams | Pick: Shaider

WTA Miami: Elisabetta Cocciaretto vs Naomi Osaka | Pick: Osaka

WTA Miami: Lesia Tsurenko vs Magda Linette | Pick: Tsurenko

WTA Miami: Marie Bouzkova vs Lin Zhu | Pick: Bouzkova

WTA Miami: Shelby Rogers vs Linda Fruhvirtova | Pick: Fruhvirtova

WTA Miami: Simona Halep vs Paula Badosa Gibert | Pick: Halep

WTA Miami: Sloane Stephens vs Angelique Kerber | Pick: Stephens

WTA Miami: Xiyu Wang vs Emma Raducanu | Pick: Raducanu

 

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WTA Miami: Diana Shnaider vs Venus Williams

Diana Shnaider will probably view her first-round draw against Venus Williams as a treat rather than a massive challenge.

Shnaider naturally won't want to underestimate someone like Williams but there has been little about the former Grand Slam champion's recent play that suggests she is capable of match the world No 62.

Shnaider was a finalist at the WTA 125 event in Charleston last week and has regular tennis under her belt.

By contrast, Williams made her season bow in a three-set first-round loss at Indian Wells.

 

WTA Miami: Elisabetta Cocciaretto vs Naomi Osaka

Charleston 125 champion Elisabetta Cocciaretto awaits Naomi Osaka in what is a tough draw for both players in reality.

Osaka will feel that she could have drawn several other players rather than someone riding a winning streak.

Cocciaretto equally hasn't had much time to settle into Miami ahead of facing a player with five wins in seven matches.

This will be the first meeting between these players in singles action and that could play into Osaka's hands.

 

WTA Miami: Lesia Tsurenko vs Magda Linette

Lesia Tsurenko and Magda Linette are set for their third meeting in singles action, with each owning one win over the other.

Tsurenko currently holds the edge on the rankings and has more match wins to her name this season.

Linette is on a three-match losing streak right now, and is tumbling down the rankings.

A win for the Pole would arrest her slide, but Tsurenko has played well so far this season, and form suggests she will carry the day.

 

WTA Miami: Marie Bouzkova vs Lin Zhu

Lin Zhu has lost five straight matches on the WTA Tour in a run that stretches back to Dubai.

Marie Bouzkova and Lin Zhu have a 1-1 career head-to-head but have not met in singles action in over three years.

Bouzkova won that last meeting between the players, but she is also battling a slump in form.

Bouzkova is 5-7 this season and hasn't managed to win back-to-back matches in 2024.

 

WTA Miami: Shelby Rogers vs Linda Fruhvirtova

A home hope and veteran in Shelby Rogers faces Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova for the first time.

Rogers hasn't made a main draw appearance since the Australian Open having lost in qualifying for the ATX Open after suffering an injury.

Fruhvirtova had to come through qualifying to reach this stage, but that means she probably has an even bigger edge over Rogers.

Rogers will have the crowd behind her, and she will need all the help she can get to deny the Czech teen.

 

WTA Miami: Simona Halep vs Paula Badosa Gibert

Simona Halep faces Paula Badosa in her comeback match, and this one really is up in the air.

Halep has lost her WTA Ranking due to her 18-month absence from the game following a doping saga which has rocked the sport.

Halep is at least unlikely to be injured, but the same cannot be said for Badosa.

Badosa will be watched closely by her team for any sign of discomfort as she treads a difficult comeback trail.

 

WTA Miami: Sloane Stephens vs Angelique Kerber

Sloane Stephens leads Angelique Kerber 5-2 in their head-to-head, but it has been some time since their last clash.

Kerber won when they faced off at the 2021 US Open, and Stephens last beat the German back in 2018.

Kerber outdid Stephens at Indian Wells, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to fellow mum-on-tour Caroline Wozniacki.

That return to form suggests Kerber has put a poor start to the season behind her and is ready to challenge to make it to the latter stages here as well.

 

WTA Miami: Xiyu Wang vs Emma Raducanu

Xiyu Wang is having a rollercoaster season after she followed up a championship match appearance in Austin with a first-round loss at Indian Wells.

Emma Raducanu gained some momentum from a run to the third round at Indian Wells, but she could really use a good win to start her campaign in Miami.

No 22 seed Anna Kalinskaya awaits the winner of this clash.

This will be the first singles match that Raducanu and Wang contest head-to-head.

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