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Tennis acca tips for Thursday, March 21: Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka to notch opening wins

Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka are in action in the Miami Open on Thursday and Planet Sport has the selections you need for your acca.

Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka are set for testing starts to their respective Miami Open tilts.

Rybakina will face young Dane Clara Tauson who came through qualifying before sweeping aside home hope Caroline Dolehide to reach the round of 64.

Sabalenka will have to contend with former world No 2 Paula Badosa who is out to put her injury woes behind her. The Spaniard beat a returning Simona Halep first up.

The top 32 seeds for both sides of the Miami Open singles draw enjoy a bye into the second round in the 96-player field.

Here are our picks for selected matches in the WTA Miami Open Round of 64.

 

WTA Miami Open: Clara Tauson vs Elena Rybakina | Pick: Rybakina

WTA Miami Open: Diana Shnaider vs Madison Keys | Pick: Keys

WTA Miami Open: Diane Parry vs Beatriz Haddad Maia | Pick: Haddad Maia

WTA Miami Open: Laura Siegemund vs Jelena Ostapenko | Pick: Ostapenko

WTA Miami Open: Maria Sakkari vs Yue Yuan | Pick: Sakkari

WTA Miami Open: Paula Badosa Gibert vs Aryna Sabalenka | Pick: Sabalenka

WTA Miami Open: Peyton Stearns vs Victoria Azarenka | Pick: Azarenka

WTA Miami Open: Qinwen Zheng vs Katerina Siniakova | Pick: Zheng

 

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WTA Miami Open: Clara Tauson vs Elena Rybakina

 

Clara Tauson and Elena Rybakina have met just once before and that was back in 2019 on clay.

Rybakina won that match and has also progressed further in her career in the intervening time.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Rybakina this season but she is still 17-3 for this campaign which underlines her quality.

Tauson will need to take her chances to put Rybakina under pressure in any way at all.

 

WTA Miami Open: Diana Shnaider vs Madison Keys

 

Diana Shnaider bested legend Venus Williams in the first round but another home hope will pose a threat to her run in Miami.

Madison Keys is the 17th seed for the Miami Open and will be out to bounce back after an early loss at Indian Wells.

Shnaider has momentum thanks to being involved in the first round.

However, Keys should find a way to progress to the Round of 32.

 

WTA Miami Open: Diane Parry vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

 

Diane Parry has an edge over Beatriz Haddad Maia even if the Brazilian is ranked 41 places above her.

Parry beat Haddad Maia at the Argentina Open in 2021 and also holds a lower-level win over the world number 13.

Parry enjoyed a good run at Indian Wells and is 12-6 in matches in 2024.

Haddad Maia will be out to prove she is a better player than when she went down to Parry three years ago.

 

WTA Miami Open: Laura Siegemund vs Jelena Ostapenko

 

Qualifier Laura Siegemund will be the first opponent for Jelena Ostapenko in Miami.

Ostapenko is a former Miami Open finalist but hasn't reached the last eight since her championship match loss in 2018.

This will be the first head-to-head match between Ostapenko and Siegemund.

Ostapenko lost her opener at Indian Wells to a German player and will want to avoid suffering the same fate this time around.

 

WTA Miami Open: Maria Sakkari vs Yue Yuan

 

Maria Sakkari will share the court with Yue Yuan for the first time since their Australian Open clash in 2023.

Sakkari won that match and is also the player with the better record in the current season.

Yue Yuan has won a title this season, albeit at the WTA 250 ATX Open.

Sakkari lost the final at Indian Wells but has been on an upward trend of late.

 

WTA Miami Open: Paula Badosa Gibert vs Aryna Sabalenka

 

Paula Badosa will test her fitness with a tough match against world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

While they are locked at 2-2 in their head-to-head, Sabalenka has won the last two meetings.

Badosa has played just ten matches this season with her record improving to 5-5 after her win over Halep.

Sabalenka has been vulnerable to upsets lately losing to Emma Navarro at Indian Wells and Donna Vekic in Dubai.

 

WTA Miami Open: Peyton Stearns vs Victoria Azarenka

 

Peyton Stearns will take on former world number one Victoria Azarenka for the first time.

Stearns saw off Chinese player Yafan Wang in the opening round but can expect a step up in challenge from the number 27 seed.

Azarenka has been in decent form this season sporting a 10-5 win-loss record.

The Belarusian lost her opening match at Indian Wells and is vulnerable again as she faces someone who has already been in action this week.

 

WTA Miami Open: Qinwen Zheng vs Katerina Siniakova

 

Qinwen Zheng was the number 24 seed when she lost to Katerina Siniakova at Wimbledon in 2023 and she is seeded again for their clash in Miami.

Zheng is now a top ten player and the number seven seed for the Miami Open but the draw has done her no favours.

Siniakova eased past Ana Bogdan to reach this stage and faces a player yet to hit the court in Miami.

Zheng was one of many seeds to fall first up at Indian Wells and again that should spur her on to get the win.

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