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WTA Dubai Day 3 Predictions Including Amanda Anisimova vs Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza in action at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.

After an exciting start to the week at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, the second round commences on day three with 16 matches on the schedule. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Alize Cornet vs Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur vs Elena Rybakina and Petra Kvitova vs Jil Teichmann. But who will book their place in the last 16 in Dubai?

WTA Dubai Tennis Championships Day Three Predictions

Veronika Kudermetova vs Belinda Bencic

Head-to-head: Kudermetova 3-2 Bencic

Belinda Bencic arrives at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships a player in need of some wins. She has not made a dreadful start to the season, but her 5-4 record in 2021 leaves something to be desired to say the least. Of more concern still is the fact that she has won just nine games in total in her last two matches, which saw her thrashed by Iga Swiatek and Madison Keys. How confident she will be feeling heading into this match is a real question as a result.

It will surely not help that she is set to open her campaign against a player she has struggled with in the past. All the more so because the player in question, Veronika Kudermetova, has made a fine start to 2021, reaching the final in Abu Dhabi and the third round at the Australian Open. In her opener in Dubai, she proved too strong for her compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and she may well feel that if she can replicate that level against Bencic, she will win. One suspects that she is correct in that estimation.

Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
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Kristina Mladenovic vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: Pegula 2-0 Mladenovic

It feels a long time ago now that Kristina Mladenovic was a top-ten player. That said, the Frenchwoman has made a respectable enough start to the season, reaching the third round in Melbourne and the quarterfinals in Lyon, before opening her campaign in Dubai with a solid 7-6 6-3 win over the struggling Petra Martic. But it is hard to see her getting the better of Jessica Pegula. After all, they have met twice already this year and Mladenovic has been soundly beaten on both occasions. With Pegula in the best form of her career, expect the American to make it a hat-trick of victories.

Prediction: Pegula in 2
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Elina Svitolina vs Svetlana Kuznetsova

Head-to-head: Svitolina 4-1 Kuznetsova

Elina Svitolina will surely be bitterly disappointed by her straight-sets loss to Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals in Doha last week. The Belarusian may be a fine player, but she was clearly carrying an injury in that match that affected her ability to serve and cover the court, yet was still able to get the better of Svitolina for the loss of only six games. That Azarenka was unable to play her next match only adds to the sense that it was a missed opportunity for the Ukrainian.

But she may be feeling more confident in her chances when she comes up against Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian may have won as many Grand Slams as Azarenka, and two more than Svitolina for that matter, but this is not a matchup she has enjoyed. She scored her only victory over Svitolina four years ago in 2016 and has lost their last three matches. To add to her concerns, the relatively quick conditions should favour the top-seeded Svitolina.

Prediction: Svitolina in 3
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Amanda Anisimova vs Garbine Muguruza

Head-to-head: first meeting

This could well be a match to remember. Amanda Anisimova made short work of Ana Konjuh in her opener at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, despite it being only her third match since the French Open last October. Garbine Muguruza, meanwhile, has made an excellent start to 2021, reaching finals at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic in the lead-up to the Australian Open and last week in Doha. She did lose both in straight sets, but that should not detract overly from what has been a fine few months for the Spaniard.

And she continued her solid start to 2021 with a routine 7-5 6-3 win over Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round in Dubai. She will likely need to work harder to get the better of Anisimova, however, who has the power and the accuracy to go toe-to-toe with Muguruza from the baseline. Still, as sharp as the American young gun looked in the first round, she is unquestionably short of match practice. Against a player of Muguruza’s quality and experience, that could prove decisive.

Prediction: Muguruza in 3

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