Aryna Sabalenka vs Kaia Kanepi
January 24, 2022 10:00 am EDT
Aryna Sabalenka (2) of Belarus will meet Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the Fourth Round at the 2022 Australian Open. The match will be played on Monday January 24th, 2022 at 10:00am EST.
This is a match that looks lopsided on paper, but it has the potential to be closer than it appears. Aryna Sabalenka is ranked #2 in the world but has had a long history of inconsistency, and struggling in high-pressure situations. The Belarusian has started the year poorly, can the veteran Kaia Kanepi cause the big upset?
Aryna Sabalenka is the second seed here at the Australian Open, and is ranked number two in the world. She is one of the most talented players in the world and possesses a huge and explosive baseline game. However, she has lost in the First Round in both of her warm-up events here in Australia, and while she has improved her form so far in Melbourne, she has not convinced in the slightest as a Grand Slam title contender. Her opponent Kaia Kanepi is very experienced, and while she has not been at her best lately, she is capable of using all of her experience and tools to cause some trouble to the second seed.
Kaia Kanepi is a WTA Tour veteran, and has looked very good so far here in Melbourne. The 36 year old is now ranked outside the top 100, but this has not stopped her in the slightest, as she has upset players such as former world number one Angelique Kerber en route to the Fourth Round. Her opponent is ranked much higher than she is, but this may be the perfect time for her to play against Aryna Sabalenka, as the Belarusian is currently struggling. Can she do the unthinkable and cause the upset?
This is a very difficult match to predict, as are all matches that Aryna Sabalenka players. Her opponent is nowhere near the player that she is, but has a lot of experience, and is exactly the type of consistent player that Sabalenka could potentially struggle against. After considering everything, we are still going to back Sabalenka to win here. It won’t be convincing, and there will be numerous unforced errors but Sabalenka should provide enough winners and power tennis to cover all of the flaws. Three sets is very likely, with the Belarusian coming out with a tight win, moving on to the Quarter-Finals.