Aryna Sabalenka vs Maria Sakkari - 2021 Abu Dhabi Semi-Final
Tuesday January 12th, 2021 / 4:00am EST
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A blockbuster Semi-Final awaits us at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Cup in Dubai. Fourth Seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus faces ninth seeded Greek star Maria Sakkari in what is expected to be the match of the tournament between the most in-form players. The match will take place on Tuesday January 12th, 2020 at approximately 4:00am EST. Sabalenka leads the head to head by 3 matches to 1, including the last 3 matches they have played. Will she be able to extend her winning streak which dates back to 2020 or will Sakkari win and advance to the Final?
Aryna Sabalenka has been in incredible form since the end of last year. This will be her third consecutive Semi-Final, and she is seeking her third title in a row after ending 2020 with titles in Linz and Ostrava. She has sailed through the draw here in Dubai but was made to work in her Quarter-Final against Rybakina. She seemingly let her guard down and was pushed to three sets, but never really seemed like losing the match. She has a huge game and will enter this match as the favourite.
Maria Sakkari has perhaps been the most impressive player at the tournament so far. With big wins over Coco Gauff, Garbine Muguruza and Sofia Kenin to reach this stage, the world number 22 will be full of confidence and will believe she has what it takes to lift the trophy here. She lost the first set 6-2 in the Quarter-Final against Kenin but roared back to take the second and third sets for the loss of only two games, hitting an aggressive 23 winners in the process. If she is able to keep the unforced error count low she has a great chance of causing the minor upset here.
This match can go either way. Both woman play a similar, attacking brand of tennis and love to go for their shots. However, I think that Sakkari is the slightly more consistent one at the moment, and has the advantage in serving and movement. With the form that she is in, I am going to pick her to win here. Maria Sakkari to win a close and exciting match.