WTA Abu Dhabi Open Day 1 Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Anastasia Potapova

The Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open will kick off the 2021 season on Wedneday. A strong field is assembled for this WTA 500 tournament, led by top seed Sofia Kenin. Here’s a look at four intriguing first round matches, and our thoughts on who will be moving through to the second round. We’re predicting all 12 of the day’s Round 1 matches. In addition to this article, there are two others: one featuring Daria Kasatkina vs Qiang Wang and the other headlining Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Ons Jabeur.

WTA Abu Dhabi Open Day 1 Predictions

Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Zarina Diyas

Head to head: First meeting

Ekaterina Alexandrova started off 2020 in fine form, with a run to the final in Shenzhen. And, the Russian ended the year reaching the semifinals in Austria. The World #33 is an obvious talent, displaying versatility and great movement. Zarina Diyas has a style which can complicate a straightforward win for Alexandrova. Diyas was once ranked as high as World #33, the spot held by Alexandrova today. It won’t be the easiest day on the court for Alexandrova, but her scorching winners will keep Diyas on her back foot much of the match.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 2

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Anastasija Sevastova vs Paula Badosa Gibert

Head to head: First meeting

It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from 2020. An year interrupted, indeed. Yet, Anastasija Sevastova had eight first round exits. The Latvian only made it through the first round at the US Open, eventually defeating Coco Gauff in three tight sets. Spain’s Paula Badosa will look to continue Sevastova’s losing streak and may well be able to do so. Look for the Spaniard to use her aggressive baseline game to make Sevastova uncomfortable. And, if the Badosa serve is on point, she will send the Latvian packing.
Prediction: Badosa in 3

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Jamie Loeb vs Barbora Krejcikova

 Head to head: First meeting

It will be nearly impossible for Jamie Lobe to make any headway in this opening round. Barbora Krejcikova is a strong adversary who’s comfortable anywhere on the court. Her savvy net play and consistent baseline game will give the American more than she can successfully handle. I expect this will go by in two quick sets.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 2

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Maria Sakkari vs Anastasia Potapova

Head to head: Potapova 1-0

Will the teens continue to steal the headlines in 2021 and will Anastasia Potapova be on the receiving end of a big breakthrough? The 19 year old currently sits at World #101 and is joined in Abu Dhabi by four other teens, all hoping to kick off the new year with a few deep runs. While Potapova leads the head to head against Greece’s Maria Sakkari, winning their only meet-up, I’d say the odds are stacked against her this time out. Sakkari should be able to breeze through this one. But, look for young Russian to continue to climb in the rankings and reach a Round of 16 at a major this year.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2

Main Photo from Getty.


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