27th-ranked Karolina Muchova will be up against the 77th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the opening round of the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi on Thursday, January, with the match timings yet to be announced. Get the live streaming options of this Karolina Muchova v Danka Kovinic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Karolina Muchova v Danka Kovinic Head to Head
There have been no previous matches played between Muchova and Kovinic before this first round encounter.
Muchova Looking to Break into the Top 20
While Muchova featured in a few exhibition matches during the pandemic break of 2020, she participated in four tournaments on the tour on either side of that break.
Her best performance in those eight tournaments was a fourth round appearance at the US Open, which included a first round win over Venus Williams. And it was enough to ensure she remained in the top 30, having earlier in the year managed a career-best of 21st in the world.
That had been down to her showing in 2019, a year in which Muchova won her maiden WTA title – at the Seoul Open – along with having made it to the quarterfinal at the Wimbledon – her best performance at any major till date.
Muchova, incidentally, hasn’t won too much on the lower circuit, with just two ITF titles to her name but her consistency across all levels of the sport has helped her make a mark on the rankings. If the 2021 season is played out the way it’s planned, we could see the 24-year-old Muchova break new grounds as well.
For starters, however, she would be baying for a top-notch performance in this opening encounter of the first tournament of the season.
Kovinic Inching Back Towards Her Best
It was in 2016 that Kovinic first broke into the top 50 of the WTA Rankings but since then she has seen some underwhelming performances and results.
The very next year she had fallen to 138th in the world, and very soon fell outside the top 200 as well. It took a top showing in 2019, in which Kovinic won three lower-level tournaments and made it to the final of one WTA competition to help her break back into the top 100 – allowing her the luxury of direct qualifications at the Grand Slams.
Kovinic featured in a handful of matches during the pandemic break of 2020 as well, sharpening her skills on hard court surfaces where she has traditionally struggled to get any kind of results under her belt.
At the Eastern European Championships, also played on hard courts, she won all her 11 matches, barely breaking into a sweat and while the pedigree of the opposition can be questioned, the fact she did it on an unfavourable surface goes a long way in showing the amount of work she has put in on the surface.
She could give Muchova bit of a scare.
Muchova v Kovinic Prediction and Tip
We could be looking at a Muchova win but not before Kovinic has snatched a set off her opponent here.
Tip: Kovinic to win a set: 6/5 (bet365)