Elise Mertens vs Caroline Garcia - WTA Gippsland Trophy
Tuesday February 2nd, 2021 / 7:30pm EST
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An exciting matchup awaits us at the 2021 Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne, Australia. Seventh seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium faces twelfth seeded Caroline Garcia of France in the Round of 16. The match will take place on Tuesday February 2nd, 2021 at approximately 7:30pm EST. This is the fourth match between the pair, with Garcia winning all of them. Will the higher-ranked Mertens finally get her first win or will Garcia extend her winning streak?
Elise Mertens is currently ranked #20 and is one of the best and most consistent players on the WTA Tour in recent months. She had a fantastic season in 2020 and will be looking to continue that fine form and translate her success in the lower-level tournaments where she has 5 tournament WTA tournament wins into Grand Slam success. She will be expected to go deep into the draw at the Australian and will be hoping to find some form here. She was very impressive in the previous round, defeating Mayo Hibi 6-2, 6-2 in just over an hour. She was largely untroubled in that match but did have a few hiccups with her serve. While she is considered the favorite here she will know that she cannot afford to let her guard down and commit too many unforced errors against a strong opponent that she has never beaten.
Caroline Garcia is a former world number four that has struggled in recent years. Seemingly back to her best now, she will be expecting a strong 2021 season as she attempts to climb back up the rankings. She has been impressive so far here in Melbourne, with straight set wins over Rodionova and Babos. She will be very confident knowing that she has never lost to Mertens and is in good form here.
This has all the makings of a very close and exciting match. While Garcia has the lead in the head to head, Mertens has been in much better form over the past few months so I would not put too much stock into her previous three losses. That being said, Garcia is a hugely talented player, capable of beating anyone on her day. I would probably stay away from this match but if I had to back someone it would be the ever consistent Belgian. If Garcia is in good form she will likely win but the smart money is on Mertens to get the win here.