Cori Gauff vs. Aryna Sabalenka - Ostrava Open Round of 16
Thursday October 22nd, 2020 / 7:15am EST
TV: ESPN (US), Amazon Prime (UK) Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
Teenage sensation Cori "Coco" Gauff of America faces third seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the Round of 16 at the Ostrava Open. The match will take place at approximately 7:15am EST. Will the young phenom be able to pull off yet another upset? She leads the head to head by 1 match to 0 but they have never played on an indoor hard court surface.
Coco Gauff is seen by many as a future world number one. At just 16 years old she has a WTA title to her name as well as a whole host of impressive victories and upsets. She is currently ranked #55 and will be hoping to break back into the top 50 with a solid performance this week. She has looked impressive so far here in Ostrava, breezing through the Qualifying Rounds and then beating Katerina Siniakova in the First Round. She was uncharacteristically aggressive, hitting 32 winners in the match. It will be interesting to see if this continues, as her defence is already elite. Her adding a big offensive element is a scary prospect for the rest of the tour.
Aryna Sabalenka is ranked #12 in the world and has had a good year so far. She is playing her first match since the French Open and will be hoping for a deep run here. The Belarusian has won six hard court titles including one indoors, so this is a surface she is comfortable on. She is a hugely attacking player who tends to go for broke from ball one. If she can keep her error count low she is capable of beating anyone. It will be interesting to see if her elite offense can penetrate Gauff's elite defence.
This match could be very close and is a classic offence vs defence matchup. Sabalenka has had the better year but Gauff has three matches under her belt here in Ostrava so she will have had more time to adapt to the conditions. I am going with Gauff to extend her head to head lead here. She looks outstanding and just keeps getting better and better. I am expecting the match to go the distance and the young American to edge it in a three set thriller. Coco Gauff to win and advance to the Quarterfinals.