Aryna Sabalenka vs Elena Rybakina - 2021 Abu Dhabi Quarter-Final
Monday January 11th, 2021
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Fourth seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus faces sixth seeded Kazakh Elena Rybakina in a highly anticipated Quarter-Final clash at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Cup. The match will be played on Monday January 11th, 2021. This is surely the pick of the matches in this round and is sure to be an exciting encounter. Sabalenka leads the head to head 1-0 after winning their only match in 2019 in Wuhan. It was a close three setter back then, who will win this time to reach the Semifinals of the first tournament of the year?
Aryna Sabalenka has been in impressive form so far this week in Dubai and is riding a 12 match wining streak. She is yet to be tested here in Dubai, with convincing straight sets wins over Ons Jabeur, Polona Hercog and Alja Tomljanovic so far. She has been using her power to dominate opponents and is seemingly on cruise control, seemingly breaking opponents at will. She will be full of confidence heading into this match and is the favourite here.
Elena Rybakina has also not dropped a set here in Dubai and has looked equally as impressive in here three straight set victories over Kasatkina, Stefanini and Wang. She doesn't have the power that her opponent does but she covers the court extremely well and is very solid on both sides. She will also be very confident heading into this match and will aim to stay as consistent as possible, frustrating her opponent. She will be aiming to continue the momentum she generated during a breakout 2020, reaching five WTA finals and will be backing herself to reach the Semi-Final here.
This has the makings of a very exciting encounter between two of the best players in the world. Both players have been in supreme form so far this week and it is hard to choose between them. However, I think that Sabalenka has the edge here with her greater experience. She is currently on a 12 match winning streak dating back to last year and I expect that to continue. Expect a an exciting match with great shotmaking and firepower from both sides, with the Belarusian coming out on top. Aryna Sabalenka to win.