World number 12 Aryna Sabalenka will take on Aussie qualifier Ellen Perez in the first round of the 2020 Strasbourg Open on Monday, September 21. The match is expected to begin at around 12.30 pm local time (11.30 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Ellen Perez match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Ellen Perez Head to Head
There have been no previous matches between Sabalenka and Perez before this.
Sabalenka a Poor 3-3 Post Break
Since returning back from the pandemic break, Aryna Sabalenka hasn’t got any rhythm going, which is probably a late attempt at getting that back heading into the French Open. In the three tournaments Sabalenka has played in this period, she has won and lost three matches apiece.
And the issue isn’t just restricted to that. It’s the fact Sabalenka has won her opening round and then lost in the second unlike other players who have returned from break rusty but have grown back to their original self once they have shrugged off the rust.
Sabalenka has lost to stiff opposition in two of those three matches – Cori Gauff is making heads turn with her tennis while Victoria Azarenka is in the form of life these days. There was also one other loss to Jessica Pegula.
Making matters worse for the Belarusian is her record on clay and the fact she hasn’t played a single match on it this year. At the French Open, she has never made it past the second round, while notching up first round exits in four editions of the Madrid Open and Italian Open in her career.
She has a 239th-ranked opponent in front of her, but will that help her regain some of her lost confidence?
Perez Not Progressed Beyond Round One in 2020
The Aussie world number 239th has played in seven tournaments this year but has never progressed beyond the first round of any of them. This includes an ITF competition early in the year in Burnie and three competitions on clay following the pandemic break.
While she was knocked out in the first round of qualifiers at the Prague Open, Perez made it past Arina Rodionova and Harriet Dart to enter the main draw of the Istanbul Open earlier this month. Unfortunately for her, she lost a close first round match to Japan’s Misaki Doi.
Now, facing up to the might of Sabalenka, the Aussie who has never seen the top 150 on the WTA rankings charts, will have a task on her hand but with a small advantage; Perez has been playing on clay in recent times as compared to her opponent who would be playing her first match this season.
Can that make any difference?
Aryna Sabalenka v Ellen Perez Prediction & Tip
Out of form but a heavy favourite – that’s how Sabalenka is placed for this encounter going in at 1/10 to win it. Shouldn’t be too difficult except we think Perez might push her a tad.
Tip: Over 18.5 games in the match: 8/11 (bet365)