WTA Dubai Day 3 Predictions Including Alize Cornet vs Aryna Sabalenka

Iga Swiatek in action ahead of the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.
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There has been no shortage of entertaining tennis so far at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships and the action is set to continue on day three, with 16 second-round matches on the slate in the UAE. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Amanda Anisimova vs Garbine Muguruza, Ons Jabeur vs Elena Rybakina and Petra Kvitova vs Jil Teichmann. But who will reach the third round in Dubai?

WTA Dubai Tennis Championships Day Three Predictions

Madison Keys vs Anastasia Potapova

Head-to-head: Keys 1-0 Potapova

Madison Keys and Anastasia Potapova both made very impressive starts to their campaigns at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships. Keys, who made a similarly sharp start last week in Doha only to fall short in the second round, brushed aside the challenge of Liang En-shuo, who had impressed in coming through the qualifying but looked rather out of her depth in the main draw, losing only two games. Potapova, meanwhile, dismissed the veteran Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-2.

This will be their second meeting and one imagines that it will be more competitive than their first, which Keys won at a canter in the second round at the Australian Open two years ago. Potapova has improved considerably then, with her willingness to play front foot tennis and go for lines making her a dangerous opponent. But it is hard to see her out-hitting Keys. If the American plays as well as she did in the first round, expect her to have just about too much for the teenager.

Prediction: Keys in 3
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Alize Cornet vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Cornet 1-0 Sabalenka

After such an impressive start to the season, Aryna Sabalenka has stumbled. The Belarusian lost in three sets in the fourth round at the Australian Open to Serena Williams in disappointing fashion, despite a valiant effort, and she lost another close contest in her opener in Doha, falling to Garbine Muguruza in a third-set tiebreak. However, although she lost in this pair’s only previous meeting, this looks like a good opportunity for the third seed to get back to winning ways.

Alize Cornet did look sharp in the first round against Daria Kasatkina, particularly in the third set which she won 6-1, but playing Sabalenka will be a very different proposition for the Frenchwoman. She will need to find a way to disrupt the Belarusian’s rhythm to have a real chance, but although Cornet is not without skill in that department, she is not a player like Hsieh Su-wei. If Sabalenka can create opportunities to dictate from the baseline, and she surely will be able to, expect her to advance.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Shelby Rogers vs Elise Mertens

Head-to-head: Mertens 1-0 Rogers

Shelby Rogers may not be a household name, but her excellent form in recent months should not be overlooked. The American matched her best result at a Major last September by reaching the US Open quarterfinals and she backed that up with a fine showing at Melbourne Park, storming through the week without dropping a set, before being outfoxed by Ashleigh Barty in the last 16. She then reached the quarterfinals in Adelaide and opened her account in Dubai by beating Kaia Kanepi 7-6 6-2.

Elise Mertens, meanwhile, started the season brightly, winning her sixth WTA title at the Gippsland Trophy, but after a fine start at the Australian Open, she was edged out in the fourth round by Karolina Muchova. She bounced back from that disappointment with a 4-6 6-2 6-4 win over lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova in the first round in Dubai, but was not at her best. And against the in-form Rogers, anything other than a swift improvement looks destined to lead to an early exit.

Prediction: Rogers in 3
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Iga Swiatek vs Misaki Doi

Head-to-head: first meeting

Iga Swiatek, understandably enough, did not always look entirely comfortable with the pressure of being a Major champion at the Australian Open, exiting in the fourth round after a three-set defeat to Simona Halep. But she recovered quickly, winning her second tour-level title at the WTA Adelaide International, with her 6-2 6-2 win over Belinda Bencic in the final particularly impressive. She will now surely be hoping to carry that momentum into the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.

She has been handed what looks like a winnable opener against Misaki Doi. The Japanese has twice been the recipient of a lucky loser spot in the last two weeks and just as she did in Doha, Doi took advantage of her good fortune by winning her first-round match. But whilst her battling three-set win over Polona Hercog was creditable, the Slovenian is not in the same class as Swiatek. And, perhaps more to the point, neither is Doi.

Prediction: Swiatek in 3

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