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WTA Sony Open Betting: Sharapova and Azarenka hit Miami

Robson had a real fight to progress past Camila Giorgi in the last round, eventually prevailing in three.

"Cornet only reached the second round in Indian Wells, and after receiving a bye ahead of her meeting with Robson could take time to warm to the challenge."

The second round is underway in Miami, and the stars have come out to play as the competition begins to heat up. Amongst those in action on Friday are Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, both eyeing a safe passage through to the third round.

Third seed Sharapova arrives at the Sony Open off the back of an impressive triumph at Indian Wells, having dispatched of Carolina Wozniacki in emphatic fashion in the final.  

The Russian star faces a second round clash against Canadian wildcard entrant Eugenie Bouchard, who despite battling past Shahar Peer in three sets last time out is unlikely to pose much of a threat to the in-form world number two.

Victoria Azarenka is in the same side of the draw as her hard-hitting rival, and faces a perhaps slightly trickier opponent in the form of Madison Keys.

Keys also required a wildcard to take part in Miami, but brushed aside fellow American Allie Kiick in the opening round without losing a single game. The 18-year-old is currently ranked 76th in the world, but with a raucous home crowd potentially backing her she will hope to at least put up a fight against her vastly more distinguished opponent.

With the odds stacked so firmly against Bouchard and Keys, there isn't a great deal of value to be had. However, that isn't the case elsewhere as British hopeful Laura Robson faces Alize Cornet.

Robson had a real fight to progress past Camila Giorgi in the last round, eventually prevailing in three. Cornet only reached the second round in Indian Wells, and after receiving a bye ahead of her meeting with Robson could take time to warm to the challenge. Whether her opponent can take advantage of that remains to be seen, but as has become a habit of Robson's matches it could be another potential three-setter.

Elsewhere, sixth seed Angelique Kerber faces a real test when she comes up against Francesca Schiavone. The Italian has won both their previous meetings, including a round of 64 clash in Miami in 2011. 

If there is to be a seed who drops out, then this could represent a game worthy of a small investment. History gives Schiavone the edge and she is worth a look, but Kerber is arguably a different, and much improved, player now.

In terms of other potential early shocks, look no further than Urszula Radwanska taking on Ana Ivanovic. The Serbian world number 17 is the favourite, yet her Polish opponent has been in great form lately.

The drama could indeed be saved for the final match of the day's play, when Daniela Hantuchova will look to upset the odds and cut short Sara Errani's tournament.

The Slovakian leads the head-to-head record 5-3, but in their last two meetings which have taken place this year and have both been on the hard surface, it is all square. Hantuchova looked comfortable in her first round match, but Errani has improved over the last year, so therefore back the Italian to come through.

Recommended Bets
Back Over 17.5 games in Keys vs Azarenka @ 1.9110/11
Back Schiavone to beat Kerber @ 5.14/1
Back Robson vs Cornet to go three sets @ 2.68/5
Back Sharapova to beat Bouchard 2-0 @ 1.132/15
Errani to beat Hantuchova @ 1.42/5

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22 March 2013

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