Defending champion Johanna Konta is an unfortunate afterthought at the 2018 Miami Open, where Serena Williams is unseeded and starts against Indian Wells winner Naomi Osaka, with the winner to meet No. 4 Elina Svitolina.
Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams are eager to show they’re in the mix, as is world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka.
Here is a look at the four quarters of the 2018 Miami Open draw:
Top 4 Seeds: (1) Simona Halep, (5) Karolina Pliskova, (12) Julia Goerges, (14) Madison Keys
Floaters: (30) Aggie Radwanska, CiCi Bellis, (WC) Victoria Azarenka, Timea Bacsinszky, Ekaterina Makarova
Notes: Tough one for (1) Halep with a former No. 2 and a former No. 1 standing between her and the quarterfinals…Difficult starts for (14) Keys vs. the (WC) Azarenka-Bellis winner, and (5) Pliskova vs. the Bacsinszky-Makarova winner…Pliskova has no world-beaters in her road to the quarters, but Halep could be in trouble against Radwanska then Azarenka or Keys by the third round.
Top 4 Seeds: (3) Garbine Muguruza, (7) Caroline Garcia, (10) Angie Kerber, (13) Sloane Stephens
Floaters: (WC) Amanda Anisimova
Notes: The cakewalk section sees few roadblocks for the seeds…(3) Muguruza after a bye will likely meet the fearless American teen Anisimova…Fourth round meetings could see (3) Muguruza vs. (13) Stephens and (7) Garcia vs. (10) Kerber.
Top 4 Seeds: (4) Elina Svitolina, (6) Jelena Ostapenko, (9) Petra Kvitova, (15) Kristina Mladenovic
Floaters: (19) Daria Kasatkina, (WC) Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka
Notes: Wow, the former No. 1 and younger Williams to start against the Indian Wells winner Osaka, winner to play (4) Svitolina…The Indian Wells runner-up (19) Kasatkina after a bye to start against the winner of Belina Bencic and a qualifier…(9) Kvitova vs. (19) Kasatkina looming in the 3rd rd., winner to face (6) Ostapenko.
Top 4 Seeds: (2) Caroline Wozniacki, (8) Venus Williams, (11) Johanna Konta, (16) CoCo Vandeweghe
Floaters: Camila Giorgi, Donna Vekic, Monica Puig, Sam Stosur
Notes: Tough starts for (24) Elena Vesnina vs. the Giorgi-Vekic winner, and (2) Wozniacki vs. the Stosur-Puig winner…Really nice draw for (8) Venus to make a (2) Woz quarterfinal.
Wildcards were awarded to Azarenka, Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, and Americans Anisimova, Serena Williams, Claire Liu, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Whitney Osuigwe, and Bernarda Pera.
Withdrawing from the event were Dominika Cibulkova, Margarita Gasparyan, Kateryna Kozlova, Ana Konjuh, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Peng Shuai, Lucie Safarova, Maria Sharapova snd Laura Siegemund.
Konta beat Wozniacki in the 2017 final, ending a 27-year reign where a player to rank in the Top 2 of the WTA rankings won the Miami Open.
Former champions in the field are Konta (2017), Azarenka (2016,’11,’09), eight-time champion Serena Williams (2015-13,’08-07,’04-02), Radwanska (2012), Kuznetsova (2006), and Venus Williams (2001, 1999-98).
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