Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo will take on Nadia Podoroska of Argentina in the first round of the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi on Thursday, January 7, with the match likely to begin at around 10 am local time (6 am BST or 12 midnight Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Sara Sorribes Tormo v Nadia Podoroska match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Sorribes Tormo v Nadia Podoroska Head to Head
Their only previous encounter came on the hard courts of the ITF Burnie competition in 2019 and Sorribes Tormo clinched that in straight sets.
Sorribes Tormo Close to Her Best Ranking
Having achieved her career-best WTA ranking of 64th in mid-2019, Sorribes Tormo is now closing back in on that, having improved to 66th from a 2020 season low of 91st.
That this has been possible in a season which was so severely curtailed was thanks to her performances on the lower circuit where the Spaniard won a title in 2020. Things hadn’t looked good for her at the beginning of the season when she won just one main draw match in six tournaments, including an opening loss in an ITF one.
A quarterfinal appearance at the WTA Prague immediately after resumption helped but a title on the clay courts of the Cagnes-Sur-Mer and a quarterfinal appearance on the indoor courts of Ostrava seemed to have come to her rescue.
Can she now inch ahead and make an attempt to make it to the top 50 on a surface which isn’t her most favourite?
Podoroska Coming off Her Best Season
Just when most others had written off the 2020 season because of the pandemic, Podoroska stormed through WTA rankings to go from 258th in the world at the start of the season to finishing it on 47th by the time it had ended.
It was one of the most consistent seasons one could have expected from a player ranked outside the top 250 with the then 22-year-old clinching three ITF titles and then pushing the form through at the highest level as well.
For someone who had made only main draw Grand Slam appearance before entering the 2020 French Open as a qualifier, Podoroska’s run to the semifinal was worth its weight in gold. In what could be termed as one of the breakthrough performances of the season she stunned Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals of that Grand Slam before falling to Iga Swiatek in the semifinals.
All that led to the Argentine ending the season with a whopping 45-8 win-loss record, admittedly across all the circuits.
What needs to now be seen is if Podoroska can maintain that kind of form, especially as things get tougher in the top 50.
Sorribes Tormo v Podoroska Prediction and Tip
Podoroska is a favourite here with bet365 offering 4/7 for his win but it might get closer than that on the hard courts of Abu Dhabi with a three-setter expected between two players of equally solid fighting capabilities.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)