Third seed Belgian Elise Mertens takes on Kazakhstan’s promising young star, Elena Rybakina, in the quarterfinals of the Shenzhen Open on Thursday, January 9. The match will begin at 3 pm local time (7 am BST). You can find the Elise Mertens v Elena Rybakina live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Elena Rybakina Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between the 17th-ranked Mertens and the 36th-ranked Rybakina.
Mertens, The Highest Seed Left
Knocked out of the doubles competition on Wednesday, the 24-year-old third-seed Elise Mertens will now have her eyes firmly fixed on the singles event in Shenzhen.
The highest-ranked player left in the tournament following the exits of top seed Belinda Bencic and defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, Mertens has looked good in the first two rounds of the singles competition.
She began the tournament with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko and followed that up with a 6-4, 6-3 win over China’s Xiyu Wang.
Mertens had an impressive 2019, winning her first Premier event, the Qatar Open, despite being unseeded in the tournament. She also reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and the quarterfinals of the US Open last year. However, her biggest accomplishment was winning the U.S. Open doubles title with Sabalenka, a first for a Belgian.
At Shenzhen, Mertens and Sabalenka were the top seed in doubles but were knocked out in straight sets by the Romanian-Japanese pairing of Monica Niculescu and Misaki Doi on Wednesday.
In the quarterfinal, Mertens will be up against one of the rising young stars of 2019, Elena Rybakina.
Rybakina’s Phenomenal Rise in Rankings
The 20-year-old Kazakh rose 150 places since the start of 2019 to reach a career best ranking of 36 and is being touted as one of the players to watch out for in 2020. For starters, the season has begun well for Rybakina as she staved off two local opponents in the first two rounds in Shenzhen.
Beginning the campaign with a hard-fought 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Zheng Saisai, which lasted 1 hour and 56 minutes, the seventh-seed Rybakina had to endure another tough match in the second round, needing 1 hour and 27 minutes to see off Yafan Wang 6-3, 6-4.
The 2019 Bucharest Open champion, Rybakina reached quarterfinals or better seven times last year, ending the season with an extremely good 57-21 record. She will be looking to build on that record this year and a win on Thursday will be another step in that direction.
Elise Mertens v Elena Rybakina Predictions and Tips
Expect another hard-fought battle with Mertens winning in three sets.
Tip: Mertens to win in three sets: 3/1 (Click here to get these odds with bet365)