Aryna Sabalenka vs Garbine Muguruza - WTA Qatar Open Round of 16
Tuesday March 2nd, 2021
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Third seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus faces unseeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Qatar Open WTA event in Doha, Qatar. The match is scheduled to be played on Tuesday March 2nd, 2021 at a time yet to be determined. This is the second meeting between the two players with Sabalenka winning on the first occasion.
Aryna Sabalenka is currently ranked #8 in the world and ended 2020 in incredible fashion, winning two consecutive tournaments to end the year. She began 2021 as she left off, winning the first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi. She seemed primed for a run at the Australian Open title but her form changed dramatically, losing in the First Round of the warm-up event in Adelaide to Kaia Kanepi before falling in three sets to an in-form Serena Williams in the Fourth Round at the Australian Open. She will be hoping to turn her season around here and re-establish herself as one of the world's top players. She has a huge game, with a booming serve and groundstrokes. It seems only a matter of time before she puts everything together and wins a big tournament but for now she has a difficult task against former number one Muguruza.
Garbine Muguruza is a former Grand Slam champion and world number one who has struggled with consistency in recent years. Now ranked #16, she has been in very good form to start the year, reaching the Final in Adelaide and then losing to eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the Fourth Round at the Australian Open after dominating the majority of the match. She has struggled with her focus throughout her career but seemingly has that under control now, and looks renewed this year. She has a very aggressive game and is a very intelligent tactician, being able to adapt to every situation and game style. She is the slight underdog here but will be confident in her chances of victory.
This match deserves to be a Final, such is the quality of the two players. I expect it to be a very close encounter with both women being capable of winning. I am going to give the edge to Muguruza here. She was very impressive in her First Round win and has a wealth of experience under her belt. Expect it to go the distance, with Muguruza winning an extremely close match in the end.