Swiatek and Sakkari Top INSIGHTS Favorites List for Miami Open

Swiatek and Sakkari Top INSIGHTS Favorites List for Miami Open

5 min read

Miami, Fla. — Players have switched over from the West to the East coast for more tennis in the sun as the Miami Open gets underway at the Hard Rock Stadium this week. Indian Wells champion Iga Swiatek (13.31) leads the women’s favorites, with Universal Tennis INSIGHTS providing in-depth analytics and prediction tools you can’t find anywhere else.

Overshadowing the lead-up to the joint WTA/ATP 1000 event has been Ashleigh Barty announcing her retirement. The 25-year-old was a two-time Miami Open winner and the defending champion. She wasn't scheduled to play in Indian Wells or Miami this year, but the world No. 1's absence has been and will be felt strongly.

The Favorites

With first-round matches taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all seeded players receive byes; the women start on Thursday and the men on Friday.

The INSIGHTS Tournament Odds Favorites

(2) Igia Swiatek — 13%

(4) Maria Sakkari — 11%

(3) Anett Kontaveit — 9%

(23) Simona Halep — 8%

(9) Danielle Collins — 6%

(5) Paula Badosa — 6%

(1) Aryna Sabalenka — 4%

(22) Belinda Bencic — 4%

Swiatek, the No. 2 seed, has been in impeccable form as she picked up back-to-back WTA 1000 titles, first in Doha and then in Indian Wells. The 20-year-old is on an 11-match winning streak and was most impressive last week in straight-set wins over Simona Halep (13.20) and Maria Sakkari (13.26). Swiatek is making just her second main-draw appearance in Miami.

"For sure it's a lot to digest, winning Indian Wells and having another tournament in such a short period of time," Swiatek told press in Miami. "I had time to celebrate and rest a little bit. Still, there's another tournament coming up, so it was pretty hard to reset completely. I'm really excited for Miami. I'm really hoping that I'm going to be able to get used to the new conditions. It's going to be a new experience for me."

Per INSIGHTS, she has a 13% chance of winning the Sunshine Double (both Indian Wells and Miami in the same year). She is ranked No. 2 in both the WTA rankings and the UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) rankings (based on UTR Rating).



The next INSIGHTS favorite is Sakkari with an 11% chance of taking home her biggest trophy yet. The Greek just hit a career-high ranking of No. 3, but her PTT ranking is still No. 4. Her previous two losses have both been to Swiatek (Indian Wells final and Doha semifinals) and she also reached the St. Petersburg final (losing to Kontaveit).

No. 3 seed Anett Kontaveit (13.30) rounds out the Top 3 favorites with a 9% chance. She had the highest odds of winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells but lost to Olympic silver medalist Marketa Vondrousova in the round of 32. While Kontaveit is No. 7 on the WTA rankings, she’s No. 3 based on UTR Rating.

The Dark Horses

As far as seeded dark horses go Halep is No. 23 despite making the Indian Wells semifinals. Her WTA ranking is No. 19 while her PTT is up at No. 5, making her one of the Top 5 favorites for the title, alongside Swiatek, Kontaveit, Sakkari, and No. 9 seed Danielle Collins (13.09).

Naomi Osaka (13.01) is lurking in the draw unseeded and she opened on Wednesday with 6-3, 6-4 win over former Vanderbilt standout Astra Sharma. Osaka's time in Indian Wells ended on a sour note in the second round after a fan's heckling upset her to the point of tears. She's had plenty of time to reset.

"I've kind of thought back on it. I realize I've never been heckled. I've been booed, but not like a direct yell-out kind of thing," Osaka said. "It kind of took me out of my element. I feel like I'm prepared for it now. I was kind of bracing myself before the match to just like know that's a thing that could happen now. I think I just needed to change my mindset a little."

Waiting in the second round in Miami is No. 13 seed Angelique Kerber (13.03) followed by a possible showdown with No. 18 seed Leylah Fernandez. The highest seed in Osaka's section of the draw is Kontaveit. Osaka hasn't played Kerber since 2018, and INSIGHTS' head-to-head tool shows a close one with Kerber having a slight edge with 52% odds of winning.



Possible Surprises

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (12.84) is unseeded but holds a 16% chance of reaching the round of 16 and a 9% chance of reaching the quarterfinals, even though she would have to take out top seed Aryna Sabalenka (13.07) in the third round. Sabalenka tumbled out in the first round in Indian Wells and has reached just one quarterfinal so far this year (Doha, losing to Swiatek).

Check back soon for more from Miami, including the men's preview.


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•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, March. 23, 2022.

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