Leylah Fernandez vs. Maria Sakkari - 2021 WTA Grampians Trophy Second Round
Thursday, February 4 2021
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Maria Sakkari meets Leylah Fernandez in the second round of the 2021 WTA Grampians Trophy on Thursday, February 4th 2021 in what is going to be a very interesting encounter. Will Sakkari come out rusty after not having to play the first round match she was originally scheduled to, or will the Greek book her spot in the quarterfinals?
Leylah Fernandez came through an easy first round match for her although she was playing a very tough opponent in Sloane Stephens. Fernandez won the match in straight sets 6-3/6-1. Although Fernandez cruised through the match, I cannot really say it was completely out of merit. Sloane Stephens has been in terrible form over the last couple of years, and she has not reached her peak which saw her win the US Open a few years ago. Stephens seemed sluggish and rusty in that match, and I am sure that if she was in form, there would be no way Fernandez would have come through.
Maria Sakkari was originally scheduled to play her first round match on Wednesday, but the withdrawal of the No.1 seed, Bianca Andreescu, resulted in Sakkari receiving her bye into the second round. Maria Sakkari is a great and talented player in the WTA Tour, and it will be interesting to see whether not playing competitive tennis in the first round will hinder her as she might not have worn off the rust just yet. Sakkari is now the favorite to win the tournament in my opinion, but she will need to adapt to the courts quickly in this second round match.
This is going to be the first meeting between both players, and if Maria Sakkari comes out playing even at 80% of her best, we can expect a straight sets victory from the Greek. Fernandez was handed her first round victory by Sloane Stephens and I just do not see Sakkari playing as sluggish and rusty as Stephens did. Maria Sakkari will be extra motivated to make the most of Bianca Andreescu being out of the tournament, and she will want to win the title here. Sakkari to win.