WTA Dubai Day 4 Predictions Including Anett Kontaveit vs Aryna Sabalenka

Jil Teichmann in action at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.

There has been plenty of entertaining tennis so far at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships and with just 16 players left in the draw, the intensity should continue to heat up. Day four will see the completion of the third round and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Iga Swiatek vs Garbine Muguruza. But who will reach the last eight in Dubai?

WTA Dubai Tennis Championships Day Four Predictions

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Barbora Krejcikova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Svetlana Kuznetsova rolled back the years to beat Elina Svitolina in the second round, adding to the Ukrainian’s troubles after what has been a broadly disappointing start to the season for the world #5. Kuznetsova’s next challenge will be Barbora Krejcikova, who is in the midst of an excellent week at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships. The Czech opened her campaign with a 6-2 7-6 win over Maria Sakkari and she backed that up by dismissing Jelena Ostapenko for the loss of only four games.

She may have to work harder to get the better of Kuznetsova, however. The Russian may not be the force she once was, but, as she demonstrated in her three-set win over Svitolina, she remains a wily campaigner able to go through the gears when the situation requires it. Nonetheless, Krejcikova, who has plenty of big-match experience thanks to her considerable success in doubles, looks like she will be very hard to stop this week. Expect her to edge out the two-time Major champion.

Prediction: Krejcikova in 3
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Anett Kontaveit vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Sabalenka 2-0 Kontaveit

This should be some match. Aryna Sabalenka may well be disappointed by her recent run of results, which have seen her exit the WTA Gippsland Trophy in the first round, the Australian Open in the last 16 and the WTA Qatar Open at the same stage (after a first-round bye), but that disappointment will surely stem from how well she has played without reward. She went some way to dispelling that frustration with an excellent 6-2 6-4 win over Alize Cornet, but will surely now want to manufacture a deep run.

But the Belarusian will likely need to be at her best when she takes on Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian has also impressed so far in 2021 and has scored creditable straight-sets wins over Timea Babos and Sorana Cirstea so far this week. Like their last match, which came a year ago in Doha, this should be a close contest. But Sabalenka’s groundstrokes are that much more reliable than the 15th seed’s, which goes some way to explaining the difference in their respective rankings. That should prove to be decisive when it matters most.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 3
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Cori Gauff vs Tereza Martincova

Head-to-head: Martincova 1-0 Gauff

Tereza Martincova is another player who is making good on her early season promise at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships. The Czech fell short in the qualifying at the Australian Open, but she enjoyed a productive period in France, making back-to-back quarterfinals, including at the WTA Lyon Open. She has looked sharp so far in Dubai, coming through the qualifying before scoring main-draw wins over Kristyna Pliskova and the struggling Kiki Bertens.

However, although she won their only previous meeting, beating Cori Gauff looks like a tall order for Martincova. The American’s charge up the rankings has stalled, but she has now firmly established herself as a top 50 player and has impressed in battling wins over Ekaterina Alexandrova and the 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova. Provided she has recovered physically from those testing encounters, she should be more comfortable up against Martincova.

Prediction: Gauff in 2
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Jil Teichmann vs Ons Jabeur

Head-to-head: Jabeur 1-0 Teichmann

This should be a good match with both Jil Teichmann and Ons Jabeur heading towards the top of the women’s game. The Swiss, after a good end to 2020, has made a largely impressive start to her 2021 campaign, with her best effort so far a semifinal showing at the Adelaide International, although the manner of her 3-6 2-6 defeat there will surely rankle. Still, she recovered quickly by thrashing Katarina Zavatska in the first round in Dubai, before Petra Kvitova’s second-set retirement handed her a place in the last 16.

Jabeur, meanwhile, arrived at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships after an indifferent start to the year, but she has looked to be getting back to her best this week, picking up fine wins over Katerina Siniakova and 14th seed Elena Rybakina. She also beat Teichmann in their only previous meeting, although the relevance of that match is questionable as it was contested five years ago. Regardless, the Tunisian’s combination of power and touch looks well-suited to the courts in Dubai and she should have enough to account for Teichmann.

Prediction: Jabeur in 3

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