The world number 54 Anastasija Sevastova will be up against the 70th-ranked Paula Badosa in the opening round of the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, January 6, with the match likely to begin at around 6 pm local time (2 pm BST or 8 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Anastasija Sevastova v Paula Badosa match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Anastasija Sevastova v Paula Badosa Head to Head
This will be the first meeting on the WTA circuit between Sevastova and Badosa.
Sevastova Coming off Some Wretched Form
There were obvious issues for most players during a season that was so heavily affected by the pandemic but not too many other players in the top 100 suffered the kind of wretched form that Sevastova did in 2020. She won a grand total of one match on the tour all season and two if you count her Fed Cup win over Serena Williams.
In fact, when she defeated Williams in that match, she had entered the match at 5/1 odds to surprise her American opponent.
From there on, she won just one of her next seven matches, another shock win in the first round of the US Open over Cori Gauff but six other losses including opening exits at Dubai, Doha, Prague, Cincinnati and Rome meant Sevastova had nothing much to write home about.
As a result, this once 11th-ranked Latvian had fallen to 54th in the world, her worst since her 52nd-rank in 2016.
Can the 30-year-old Sevastova turn things around in 2021?
Badosa On Course to Top 50 Breakaway
It was around three years ago, Spain’s Badosa was ranked 248th in the world. A reasonably solid season on the lower circuit helped her end the year at 140th and it was not so later she broke into the top 100 as well.
In fact, 2019 was her best year with Badosa possessing a 57-33 win-loss record across all circuits, which included an ITF title win – the seventh of her career.
It helped her break into the top 100 and in turn meant a direct qualification for the Grand Slams.
Badosa’s crowning moment came at the 2020 French Open, where, following on from the semifinal appearance at the Istanbul Open, the Spaniard overcame Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko to make it to the fourth round.
It was her best ever showing in a Grand Slam by some distance, following on from a second round loss at the Australian Open and a first round defeat at the US Open. Can she now show she belongs to the top 50 with another solid year to follow?
Sevastova v Badosa Prediction and Tip
While Sevastova is the favourite on paper, Badosa might not make it too easy for her opponent and we could be looking at a surprise result in this one.
Tip: Badosa to win a set: 1/2 (bet365)