Firstly, apologies for my absence over the past month but I have been having some issues with my computer and that also explains some of the lost posts. Regardless, we have a great match-up on the opening day of the Miami Open with sixteen-year-old Amanda Anisimova and Qiang Wang. Despite the ten year age and experience gap between the two, the odds are very tight with Wang just edging ahead as the favourite.
Qiang Wang has played five WTA events this year and after a rough start, she has been getting some more wins in recent weeks. Her Australian Open preparation did not go to plan as she lost out in the first round of the Shenzhen Open to Alison Riske and then at the grand slam itself she fell to Madison Keys in the first round. Her next match after that was actually against the exact same opponent and it did not go any better as Keys got the better of her again in the first round of Doha. She then got her first main draw win of the season in Dubai as she got into the draw via a lucky spot and got a win before going out in the second round to eventual champion Elina Svitolina. Her BNP Paribas Open has been her best event so far this year as she went on a run to the fourth round before falling to Simona Halep. Amanda Anisimova has not played many WTA level events this year as she started the year with two WTA 125k events, of which she reached the semifinals of one in Indian Wells before falling to eventual champion Sara Errani. She played her first WTA event of the year at the same location but this time under the name of the BNP Paribas Open and she also got some really solid wins there before falling in the fourth round to Karolina Pliskova. I have to give the slight edge to Anisimova because she has been getting more wins this season and there is a certain point, especially for a sixteen-year-old, where it doesn’t matter at what level you got the wins because you got them either way.
Qiang Wang has only played this event once and that came last year when she toughed out a three-setter to get into the second round, where she ultimately fell in a match to Agnieszka Radwanska that did end up going to a third set. Despite having only played two matches, it would still give her confidence to get a set off the experienced Radwanska. It is a similar story for Amanda Anisimova as last year was the only time she has ever played in Miami and she failed to get a win as she fell to Taylor Townsend in a third set of the first round. I have to give the edge in this area to Wang because despite both women having very little experience on the grounds here, it is still Wang with that one win and that can make a difference.
Head to Head Record
Amanda Anisimova and Qiang Wang have never played each other in an official WTA main draw match.
My Prediction 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
I think this will be an interesting one to follow because both women are feeling good with their games at the moment and if that is the case you tend to think Amanda Anisimova would overpower most opponents but then Qiang Wang has that experience that would stop her from panicking when the young American might. I think we will see some nerves from Anisimova to start and she might go down but a break or two but then she will show her grit to dig back part of the way. In the end, I do not think that Anisimova will have enough guts to really go for it when she needs to and she will drop the opener 6-4. After that, I think we will see her more focused from the start of the second and it will be rather tight with both women trying to stick on the baseline but I think Anisimova might manage to find some clutch tennis, especially at the net, and break before taking the second set 7-5. I think that there will be a lot of momentum for Anisimova going into the deciding set and she will take a break lead and although nerves will give Wang opportunities towards the end of the set, Anisimova will stay strong and take the 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 first round match.