Heather Watson & Kyle Edmund in Miami Open R1 – Previews
By Ros Satar
- Kyle Edmund v Jiri Vesely – First meeting
- Heather Watson v Petra Cetkovska – H2H: Cetkovska leads 2-0
MIAMI, USA – Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund start their Miami Open campaigns on Wednesday.
Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules
Edmund arrives after losing a tight three setter in the opening round of Indian Wells, and will look to snap a two-match losing streak, but more so is searching for his first tour-level main draw win after a strong start to the season in Doha.
Perhaps wisely, Edmund has dropped to a couple of ATP Challenger level events – reaching the final in both, and winning the Dallas Challenger, while Jiri Vesely is on the sharp end of a three match losing stream from Rotterdam.
For Edmund, this is his third try in the main draw of the Miami Masters, at his highest ranking to date, and this could well be a tight match for the Brit who at least knows he can take the battle to the best of them after starting the season so solidly.
Vesely has at least managed to make the second round in Miami once, but fell in the first round last year. Possessed of a big serve and forehand combination, he can also mix in drop shots and a slice backhand.
Similarly, Edmund plays aggressively and tends to rely more on his serve and forehand, and perhaps lacks the variety and maybe even confidence to come in more. If there is an area where Vesely could take advantage, that might be it.
With only Andy Murray in the main draw after James Ward fell in the final round of qualifying on Tuesday, hopes will be riding on Edmund to regain his early season form. A back niggle for the Davis Cup tie in March saw him replaced by Dan Evans but his performance against Pella showed he was able to battle on.
We can expect a tough three setter as Vesely’s experience and higher ranking may come into play.
Edmund and Vesely are scheduled on Grandstand at 11am (3pm GMT).
Watson will look to get her first win against Czech Petra Cetkovska although it has been four years since they last met on court, and five since they played on a hard court. In that time a lot has happened with Watson having been the British No.1, suffering and recovering from glandular fever and fighting her way back up the rankings.
Cetkovska’s progress was hampered by an injury-marred 2013 which saw her drop from just outside the Top 50 to outside the Top 100. Although she climbed back up in 2014, her ranking dropped again with a hip injury at the start of last year.
Watson has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence, winning the Monterrey title, but only made it to the second round in Indian Wells, where she was defending her run to the fourth round last year.
Cetkovska is not averse to a bit of serve and volley, and Watson’s serving has improved a lot, as she has sought to add a lot more aggression into her game. That being said, she still possesses a lot of good defence, speed and agility around the court.
Watson comes in a lot match-sharper than Cetkovska who hadn’t played since the Australian Open before going out in the first round to Denisa Allertova for the gain of just one game.
This is winnable for Watson, who made the second round last year.