World number 24 and USA’s Jennifer Brady will take on Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in the opening round of the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi. The match will be played on January 6 or 7, with the timings still to be announced. Find all the live streaming options of this Jennifer Brady v Tamara Zidansek match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Jennifer Brady v Tamara Zidansek Head to Head
In their only previous meeting, Zidansek had defeated Brady in a tough, swinging three-setter at the Hua Hin Open in 2019.
Brady’s Breakthrough Came in 2020
Not too long ago, at the start of the 2019 season in fact, Brady was 125th in the world. A much-improved showing that season helped her break into the top 60 before two top showings at Brisbane and Dubai before the pandemic break helped her enter the top 50 of the rankings.
If some thought the pandemic break had come at a bad time for Brady given the momentum she had shown in its lead-up, Brady dispelled any such notions. In the very first tournament after the resumption of the tennis season, Brady came through five, straight-set wins to complete a title victory in Lexington.
A first round defeat at the Western & Southern Open followed soon after before Brady won another five successive matches without dropping a set to set up a semifinal against Naomi Osaka at the US Open.
While she went down in three sets in that match, Brady had done enough to break into the top 25 on the WTA charts and finished the season with a semifinal appearance at the Osatrava Open and a career-best 24th ranked.
She would be itching to continue her solid run.
Four-Match Losing Streak for Zidansek
Just when it seemed like Zidansek had turned her season around last year by getting to the quarterfinal at the Acapulco Open, things began to go horribly off-course for her.
A first round win at the Monterrey Open was followed by six defeats in seven matches spread across both sides of the pandemic break. The Slovenian, in fact, ended the 2020 season with back to back defeats on clay and indoor hard courts, losing in the first round of the French Open, Ostrava Open and in Linz.
And it wasn’t 2020 alone where things have gone wrong for Zidansek.
After a solid start to the season before that as well, Zidansek fell into a stunning rut of bad form, losing in the first round of seven tournaments in a row, making it a woeful last 18 months or so for the former world number 56.
Zidansek will know she is up against an in-form opponent but hope she can garner some confidence for the rest of the season by testing her out.
Brady v Zidansek Prediction and Tip
Brady is an overwhelming favourite on a surface that has seen some of her best showing. Against an out of sorts Zidansek who prefers playing on clay we are looking at an easy, straight-set win here.
Tip: Brady to win in straight sets: 2/3 (bet365)