It promises to be a terrific final at the WTA Abu Dhabi Open. 2023 Australian Open finalist Elena Rybakina faces Daria Kasatkina for the title at the WTA 500 event. Both players are seeking to win their seventh career title. As always, we at LWOT give our prediction and analysis for the final, as well as the finals taking place in Cluj-Napoca and Marseille. But which player do you think will triumph in Abu Dhabi?
WTA Abu Dhabi Final Prediction
Elena Rybakina vs Daria Kasatkina
Head-to-head: Rybakina 2-2 Kasatkina
Both players had to show some grit to make the final. Last year’s WTA Elite Trophy semifinalist Kasatkina had a thrilling three-hour battle in the WTA Abu Dhabi semifinal against Beatriz Haddad Maia, which she won in a final-set tiebreak. The Russian also had to recover from a break down in the third set in the opening round against Diane Parry. Rybakina found herself a set and a break down in her opening match against Danielle Collins but has found enough of her best tennis since then to make the final.
Kasatkina’s record in the last 12 months against Top 10 players has been very poor. However, she has fared better against the 2022 Wimbledon champion than most other top players. Rybakina very narrowly won their previous match at the Canadian Open last August on a final-set tiebreak, and before that, Kasatkina won two of their first three meetings. It is clear that Kasatkina’s battling and determined style of tennis has the potential to cause her opponent problems.
However, the conditions for the final should help Rybakina more in this particular matchup. The Centre Court at the WTA Abu Dhabi Open are among the quickest in the women’s game. It will assist Ryabkina more in two particular ways. Firstly, it suits her excellent first serve. Secondly, Kasatkina has gotten joy in previous contests against Rybakina by extending the rallies as much as she can. The conditions in Abu Dhabi make it more difficult for her to do that.
Kasatkina still has a chance, and she will fight to the very end regardless of what the score is. Overall, though, the WTA Abu Dhabi Open seems like one of the best tournaments for Rybakina to face Kasatkina. She is unlikely to let this opportunity slip.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports