WTA Miami is set to begin and Tuesday’s action looks incredible to watch.
I’ve found value on two of Tuesday’s fascinating matches, featuring Putintseva vs Marino and Mertens vs Parks.
Read on for my WTA Miami picks for March 21.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA Miami Odds, Picks
Yulia Putintseva (-190) vs Rebecca Marino (+150)
12:30 p.m. ET
Yulia Putintseva fell to an inspired Karolina Muchova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in her opening match at Indian Wells. Putintseva only won 41% of her second-serve points and was broken five times. On return, the Kazakh won just 39% of her return points, although she did break on four occasions.
Putintseva is now 7-6 on the season. She has an overall 226-191 career record on hard courts. The Kazakh plays with consistency from the baseline, getting excellent depth and placement on her shots. Her variety is world-class and she can dictate play with her heavy forehand. The Kazakh is fast around the court and anticipates well.
Rebecca Marino struggled in the slow Indian Wells conditions, as she got smoked 2-6, 2-6 by Marketa Vondrousova. The big-serving Marino won just 61% of her first serves and 50% of her service points overall, getting broken four times. Marino also struggled on return, winning just 27% of return points and failing to even generate a break point.
Marino has only played on hard courts in 2023, compiling an 8-8 record. As a professional, the Canadian is an impressive 258-147 on hard. Marino has a big first serve and tries to take control of rallies early with punishing groundstrokes, especially from her forehand wing. But, Marino’s rally tolerance is suspect, her variety is mediocre and she’s not the best mover.
With Marino struggling at the moment, having lost four of her last six matches, this is a rough matchup for her. Putintseva absorbs pace well and is a wall from the baseline, forcing her opposition to play many extra shots to win points.
Putintseva should test Marino’s consistency and force the Canadian into plenty of errors given her combination of movement, rally tolerance and counterpunching.
Her return is strong and she should be able to neutralize Marino’s first serve, blunting a major strength. Marino’s return isn’t good enough to take advantage of Putintseva’s weaker serve.
Pick: Putintseva -2.5 games (-130 via PointsBet)
Elise Mertens (-340) vs Alycia Parks (+270)
1:30 p.m. ET
Elise Mertens last played in Indian Wells, where she fell 3-6, 1-6 to Xinyu Wang. While the slow, high-bouncing conditions were unfavorable for her game, Mertens won just 32% of her first-serve points and was broken seven times.
Her return performance, including winning 64% of her second-serve returns and breaking on three occasions, wasn’t enough to cover up her serving woes.
Mertens is a respectable 9-6 on the season, with all matches occurring on hard courts. For her career, the Belgian is a strong hard-court player, with a 273-140 record on the surface.
She is solid from both wings, getting consistent depth on her groundstrokes. While she doesn’t have overwhelming power, she can hit into openings with precision. Mertens is strong at the net and has a high tennis IQ too, although her serve can sometimes fail her.
Alycia Parks played a horrendous match in Indian Wells in her last tournament, losing 1-6, 1-6 to Anna Kalinskaya. The conditions were also not great for her game, but it was still unacceptable for the big-serving to win just 32% of her service points and get broken six times. Parks also won just 36% of her return points and broke serve once.
While Parks continues to excel on indoor hard courts, she is now 2-4 on outdoor hard this year, having lost three-straight matches. Parks has a huge first serve and hits with all-out aggression from the baseline. However, outdoor conditions add another element to matches, and Parks is often unable to compensate. Her groundstrokes can become erratic quickly and she has little variety and improvisation skills on court.
Mertens is the much more solid player in this matchup. The Belgian should get consistent depth on her groundstrokes and force Parks to press and overhit from the baseline.
While Mertens’ serve isn’t great, Parks has broken serve a combined four times in her past four matches and shouldn’t take advantage of this weakness.
Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Mertens’ overall Elo is 103.9 points better than Parks’ and her hard-court Elo is 97.2 points above the American’s.
Pick: Parks to NOT win a set (-112 via FanDuel)
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