World number 11 Aryna Sabalenka will be up against Cici Bellis in the second round of the Western & Southern Open 2020 on Monday, August 24. This match begins at around 3.30 pm local time or 8.30 pm BST. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Cici Bellis match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Cici Bellis Head to Head
This will be the first time Sabalenka and 21-year-old Bellis will be meeting in a competitive match.
Sabalenka Makes a Sluggish Start
Returning to competitive tennis after having been away for nearly six months, Sabalenka made a slow start to her tennis at the Lexington Open last week. After a struggle in her first round match where she finally won a three-setter against Madison Brengle, Sabalenka was downed in the second by talented youngster Cori Gauff.
That was to be expected though. Sabalenka, unlike some of the other top tennis players, had opted not to feature in any exhibition tennis tournaments. Six months on, the movements weren’t the best even against Brengle but she managed to carve out the win by, as she described after the match, “staying in the rallies, staying in the game as long as I can”
And while that defeat to Gauff would have been disappointing, it was another encounter in which she repeated the same tactic – tried to stay in the match. With two such long matches under her belt, things should be somewhat easier as she plays on but against a talented youngster like Bellis, it would be interesting to see if she can quell the points early.
Bellis Slowly Making a Comeback
Once ranked 35th in the world, Bellis fell to outside the top 300 because of fitness concerns. Bellis had needed four surgeries in the 2018-19 period to get her right arm back in order and she has done so in fine style.
Now, however, the 21-year-old is slowly making that return back into the top echelons of the tennis world and her results over the last two tournaments have shown what she is capable of.
Having made the third round at the Australian Open earlier this year, Bellis took Elise Mertens to three sets there before going down fighting. Then at the Lexington Open, Bellis was able to defeat the more-fancied Jessica Pegula to make it to the quarterfinals. There she lost to Jil Teichmann.
And now here at the Cincinnati Open, Bellis has already gotten the better of Madison Brengle and Ysaline Bonaventure in the qualifiers before needing a tough three-setter against Oceane Dodin in the first round here.
Aryna Sabalenka v Cici Bellis Prediction & Tip
A win for Sabalenka beckons but it might not be as easy as the odds of 2/5 (with bet365) seem to suggest. A safe punt would be on Bellis to be able to snatch at least a set in this match.
Tip: Bellis to win a set: 8/11 (bet365)