Elise Mertens vs. Caroline Garcia - WTA Dubai Open Round of 16
Wednesday March 10th, 2021
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Tenth seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium will face unseeded Caroline Garcia of France in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Dubai Open WTA event. The match is scheduled to be played on Wednesday March 10th, 2021 at a time yet to de determined.
This should be a very exciting match between two talented players. Who will get the win and advance to the Quarter-Finals here in Dubai?
Elise Mertens is currently ranked #18 in the world and has been been as high as #12. After a very impressive 2020 season where she was one of the most consistent performers, she will be aiming for a strong 2021 season to break into the top 10 for the first time. She had a very bright start to the year, claiming the Gippsland Trophy title in January. She then reached the Fourth Round at the Australian Open, and would have been disappointed to not have gone further. The Belgian had a strong start here in Dubai, defeating Viktoriya Tomova and Shelby Rogers in straight sets to reach this stage. She is a very strong baseline player who gives little away. Once in form she is extremely tough to beat and that seems to be the course here at the Dubai Open.
Caroline Garcia of France is currently ranked #47 but is a former top 5 player, and is a better player than her ranking suggests. After a few years where she struggled for form and fitness, she is now seemingly back to her best and had some good results in 2020. However, her 2021 season has gotten off to a slow start, with a 6-5 record to start the year. She has looked good here in Dubai, with a three set win over former world number one Angelique Kerber before defeating Martina Trevisian in straight sets to reach this stage. She is a very attacking baseline player, capable of dominating any player with her groundstrokes. However she can be quite erratic at times, something that will certainly spell trouble against the ultra-consistent Mertens.
While Elise Mertens looks like the favorite on both paper and considering recent form, Garcia holds the lead in the head to head series 3-1. Taking that into account, I still expect Mertens to win this match as she has grown a lot as a player since they last met. Caroline Garcia certainly has the talent to defeat her, but think that Mertens is just a little too solid at the moment for the Frenchwoman and will claim a tight two set win.