Aryna Sabalenka vs Kaia Kanepi - WTA Gippsland Trophy
Monday February 1st, 2021
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Fourth seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus faces unseeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in a Second Round clash at the 2021 Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne, Australia. The match will be played on Monday February 1st, 2021 at a time yet to be determined. They have never played before and both players will be seeking to get their 2021 seasons off to a strong start as they continue their preparations for the Australian Open.
Aryna Sabalenka is currently ranked 7th in the world which is a new career high. She has been one of the best and most consistent players on the WTA Tour over the past year and she will be looking to translate that red-hot form into Grand Slam events. She is unbeaten so far in 2021, having won the Abu Dhabi title earlier in January. In fact, she is currently on a 15 match winning streak dating back to the end of last year, when she won back to back titles in Ostrava and Linz. Taking her form into account she will certainly be considered one of the top favorites for the title here and also at the Australian Open. She has an outstanding serve, and loves to dominate her opponents using that and her powerful groundstrokes. When she is in form there are not many that can challenge her.
Kaia Kanepi is a 34 year old veteran of the WTA Tour who is coming to the end of her career. Once ranked as high as #15, she finds herself languishing at #94 in the rankings. She is still a solid player but she has been slowing down over the years, finding herself having to play lower level tournaments these days. She staged a remarkable comeback in the First Round here, defeating Astra Sharma after being down 6-1, 5-3. She will have to be back at her vintage best if she is to pose any kind of threat here.
Aryna Sabalenka should cruise through this match comfortably. A few years ago this would have been close, but Kanepi is a shell of the player she used to be. She can keep it close if Sabalenka takes her foot off the gas, but that is not to be expected. An easy victory for the most in-form player in the world at the moment, Aryna Sabalenka.