Elise Mertens vs Kaia Kanepi - WTA Gippsland Trophy Final
Saturday February 6th, 2021 / 9:15pm EST
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Seventh seed Elise Mertens of Belgium will face unseeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the Final of the 2021 Gippsland Trophy held in Melbourne, Australia. The match is scheduled to be played on Saturday February 6th, 2021 at 9:15pm EST. They have played each other twice in the past, and the head to head stands at 1 win apiece. This looks like a straightforward match on paper but that may mean little when taking current form into account. Can Kanepi cause yet another upset? Or will Mertens cruise to the title?
Elise Mertens is one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour and has been steadily improving each year that goes by. Now ranked #20, she will have her sights set on the top 10 and a run at the Australian Open title where she is considered a dark horse contender. She has been in very good form so far here in Melbourne, employing her tactic of stepping into the ball and taking time away from the opponent very well. She enters this match as the heavy favorite and will be well rested after receiving a walkover in the Semi-Final when Naomi Osaka pulled out.
Kaia Kanepi has been having a dream run here in Melbourne and is in her first WTA Final since 2013. Once a top 20 player, she finds herself languishing at #94 but that is sure to significantly improve after this week. She has upset players such as Sabalenka and Alexandrova en route to the Final and while she is the underdog she will be confident in her chances of winning the title. A strong, powerfully built player with huge groundstrokes, especially on the forehand side, she will have to reduce her unforced error count and hit through Mertens to have a chance.
While Kanepi is in sublime form I am going with the Belgian to take the title here. She is simply too good for the Kanepi and has the tools to nullify her big power game. She rarely gives anything away and I expect a dominant performance here. Elise Mertens to win and take her first title of the year.