Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the number seven seed, will play Maria Sakkari of Greece in the first round of the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday, February 18. The match is yet to be scheduled and you can find the Aryna Sabalenka v Maria Sakkari live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Maria Sakkari Head to Head
The pair have met twice before, with each woman having won a match each. Both matches were in 2019, with Sabalenka winning at the Cincinnati Masters, and Sakkari at the WTA Elite event (although Sabalenka still went on to claim the title).
Sabalenka, A Mixed Start to the Year
World number thirteen Sabalenka is regarded as one of the rising stars of the game after winning three WTA titles in 2019, amongst them the WTA Elite Finals in October.
However, the woman, who together with Elise Mertens of Belgium, won the Sunshine Doubles double of Indian Wells and Miami last March, has so far find to find the same consistency this season as she showed last year.
She began her year in Shenzen where she got to the second round only to lose to the Czech Kristina Pliskova. In Adelaide, the following week, she got to the semi-finals, but was beaten by Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine. However, Melbourne proved to be a bitter disappointment for her, as she crashed out in the first round at the hands of the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.
Since then she has played for Belarus against the Netherlands in the Fed Cup qualifiers, beating Arantxa Rus, but losing to Kiki Bertens.
Sakkari, Part of New Wave of Greek Players
World number 21 Sakkari is part of the new wave of Greek players that includes Stefanos Tsitsipas on the men’s tour. The 24 year old from Athens reached her first WTA final in 2018 at the Silicon Valley Classic, and claimed her maiden title last year when she beat Johanna Konta of Great Britain on the clay of Rabat in the Morocco Open.
Now she is looking to consolidate her progress in 2020, and continue her rise up the rankings.
She began her season in Adelaide, where she got to the second round, only to lose to Donna Vekic of Croatia. At the Australian Open she reached the fourth round for the first time, her best ever performance at a Grand Slam event, beating Madison Keys along the way, before losing in three sets to Petra Kvitova.
Last week, in St. Petersburg, she recorded her eighth win over a player in the top ten, beating the number one seed, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, in the quarter finals, but lost in the semi-finals to Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.
Aryna Sabalenka v Maria Sakkari Predictions & Tips
This is a tough round match for both opponents, with Sakkari in better form coming into the event than Sabalenka. However, the player from Belarus is seeded and higher ranked and should win, although it might take her three sets to do so.
Tip: Sabalenka to win in three sets: 3/1 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)