Aryna Sabalenka vs Daria Kasatkina - 2021 Australian Open Women's Singles Second Round
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Seventh seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus faces unseeded Russian Daria Kasatkina in the Second Round of the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne. The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday February 9th, 2021 at 8:00pm EST. They have played twice before, winning one match each. Who will win here and advance to the Third Round?
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 followed that up by winning the first tournament of the year in Dubai, for a 13 match winning streak. However the streak was ended when she was stunned by Kaia Kanepi in the First Round of the Gippsland Trophy. She seemingly has shrugged that loss off, as she routinely defeated Kuzmova 6-0, 6-4 in the First Round here. Her serve was dominant and she controlled the match from the baseline. When she is in top form she is one of the best players in the world and is an outside contender for the title here in Melbourne.
Daria Kasatkina was equally as dominant in her First Round win over Katie Boulter, 6-1, 6-4. Currently ranked #71, she has been as high as #10 just a few years ago, she has struggled for form over the past couple years. She seems to have turned it around in 2021, already winning five matches for the year and seems to be in good form. She is an extremely dangerous baseline player and has quite a lot of power from both wings. She can sometimes have trouble with her serve, so she will be well aware that she cannot afford to give her opponent too many free points. She will be confident in her ability here and has the potential to make this interesting.
I expect Aryna Sabalenka to win this match relatively comfortably. Kasatkina is a great player who seems to be rounding into form but unfortunately for her, Sabalenka does everything just a little better than she does. While the Russian has the ability to make this competitive it is hard to see her winning here. Aryna Sabalenka to win.