Two-time champion Elise Mertens of Belgium will aim to keep her unbeaten streak intact in Tasmania’s capital Hobart when she faces American Christina McHale in the first round of the WTA Hobart International on Tuesday, January 14th. The timings of the match are yet to be confirmed. You can find the Elise Mertens v Christina McHale live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Christina McHale Head to Head
Mertens and McHale have played each other once on tour, with the American winning in their solitary meeting in Osaka in 2017.
Mertens Out To Maintain Perfect Hobart Record
Elise Mertens has won the WTA Hobart International title twice (2017 and 2018) and is the only two-time champion in the event’s history. She has a perfect 10-0 record in Tasmania’s capital and she will undoubtedly be the player to beat this week.
Mertens is the only top-20 player in the draw and she is one of three former champions plying their trade in Hobart just before the first Grand Slam of the year. The Belgian was the first player to record a main draw match-win on the WTA tour in 2020 when she beat Lesia Tsurenko in Shenzhen last week. She went on to reach the quarterfinals in China before bowing out to Elena Rybakina, the eventual finalist.
The 24-year-old continued to be a regular on the winner’s circle in both singles and doubles in 2019. She won her first Premier title last year when she stunned Simona Halep (one of the three top-10 players she beat) at the Qatar Open while being unseeded. Mertens along with Aryna Sabalenka, teamed up in March and completed the ‘Sunshine Double’, triumphing in Indian Wells and Miami.
The duo are currently the World No.1 doubles team on WTA and won their first Major at the 2019 US Open. Will Mertens maintain her fantastic form in 2020?
McHale Has Beaten the Belgian Before
Christina McHale may be far off from her peak teenage form which saw her attain a career-high ranking of World No.24, but she is still capable of pulling off the occasional upset at the International events.
McHale has won just one singles title in her career (Tokyo in 2016), and has never reached a championship match since winning the Japan Open. She began her 2020 season in Auckland where she gave Serena Williams’ the toughest bout of the week, taking a set off the legendary fellow American in a three-set loss.
The 27-year-old may have adjusted to Hobart hard courts and swirling winds to trouble Mertens, after winning two qualifying matches. She also has beaten the Belgian before, in 2017 in Osaka. However, it could be argued Mertens was relatively raw on at tour-level.
Elise Mertens v Christina McHale Predictions & Tips
Mertens has a formidable record in Hobart. She is 16-0 including doubles matches in Tasmania, and against a player of McHale’s caliber, who it could be argued is capable of the odd upset, but not consistent enough to inflict a first-ever loss to the Belgian.
Tip: Mertens to win in straight sets: 17/20 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)