WTA Abu Dhabi Open Day 3 Predictions Including Alize Cornet vs Paula Badosa

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There will be plenty of intriguing matches on Day 3 of the WTA Abu Dhabi Open as this brand new tennis season gets going. Who will register the biggest scalps in the second round?

Here at LWOT we predict all those matches happening on Friday, with four of them in this article.

WTA Abu Dhabi Open Day 3 Predictions

Ons Jabeur vs Kateryna Bondarenko

Head-to-head: First meeting

There is certainly no better place for Ons Jabeur to kick-off her 2021 season than in the Middle East where she boasts a legion of admirers. Despite the absence of fans this week, she still managed to produced a solid win over former World No.13 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.

The Tunisian saved two set points in the opening set at 4-5 and hit a grand total of 31 winners. She also saved 7 out of 9 break points behind her serve. Jabeur will now face Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine in the second round. The 34-year-old qualifier won a seesaw encounter against China’s Yafan Wang. But in battle against the touch and racket skills of Jabeur, it will likely turn out to be a frustrating afternoon for the Ukrainian veteran.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2

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Tamara Zidansek vs Leylah Fernandez

Head-to-head: First meeting

 

Zidansek does not possess the most powerful shot in her arsenal, but she makes up for it with her defensive discipline and resilient attitude. It was the resilience which came into play against Jennifer Brady on Thursday. She overcame a 6-0 opening set and saved 14 out of 18 break points to secure one of the biggest upsets of the brand new season.

Fernandez is only 18, but she is so committed to her craft. She breezed past Jasmine Paolini in her opening round match and benefitted from an extra day’s rest. I am curious to see how Zidansek performs here. Brady who has one of the most bludgeoning forehands in the game was unable to sustain her level for too long. However, I suspect Fernandez with her willingness to be aggressive and play a dominant role, could puncture the Zidansek defense in two sets.
Prediction: Fernandez in 2

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Yulia Putintseva vs Barbora Krejcikova

Head-to-head: First meeting

This should a close match between two players who in fairness, had the luck of the draw in the first round. Putintseva saw off Martina Trevisan without losing a service game, and likewise did Krejcikova who dismissed the challenge of American Jamie Loeb for the loss of four games.

Krejcikova was a former doubles World No.1 who has turned heads in singles and is vey much a late bloomer. She is now comfortably inside the Top 100 and her late season charge last year was impressive especially in Ostrava and Linz where she ran Azarenka and Sabalenka close. Putinstseva is one of the best counterpunchers out there, but the Czech’s unconventional brand of tennis could make this an awkward meeting.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 3

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Alize Cornet vs Paula Badosa

Head-to-head: Cornet 1-0 Badosa

Just a few hours before her match on Thursday, Elise Mertens pulled out due to shoulder injury. Alize Cornet, who was scheduled to faced the Belgian, would then have the straightforward task of taking on the Greek lucky loser Valentini Grammatikopoulou. The Frenchwoman can be notorious at times of turning these kind of matches into slugfests, but got the job done in straight sets. Meanwhile, Paula Badosa was equally impressive as she beat Anastasija Sevastova.

Cornet thrives when playing from the front and if she is slow off the blocks and hands the Spaniard an early lead, it could turn into a rout.
Prediction: Badosa in 2

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