The world number five Elina Svitolina will face Russian and 164th-ranked Vera Zvonareva in the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi second round encounter on Saturday, January 9, with the match likely to begin at around 2:30 pm local time (8:30 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Elina Svitolina v Vera Zvonareva match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elina Svitolina v Vera Zvonareva Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Svitolina and the former world number two Zvonareva before this.
Svitolina Breezes Past Tough Opener
It was one of the tougher opening round matches for a top player in the tournament but Svitolina gave Jessica Pegula no respite and came through in straight sets. Svitolina won her first round match 6-4, 6-3 to seal her berth in the second round where she will now take on a player ranked 164th in the world, having once been the world number two.
In a match lasting an hour and 22 minutes, Svitolina did not drop a single game on her own serve, breaking her opponent thrice in the process.
She took a 2-1 lead by getting an early break of serve, staved off a few break-points of her own in the eighth game before wrapping up the set on her own serve in the 10th.
The second set followed a similar script with Svitolina getting a decisive break of serve in the fifth game before drilling home the advantage in the ninth by ending the Pegula resistance with another break.
Having won nine WTA titles in 2017 and 2018 but missed out in 2019, Svitolina was one of the rare shining lights among the top-ranked players last season. She picked up a couple of titles including one late in the season at Strasbourg and reached the French Open quarterfinal as well.
Zvonareva Hares Past Hesse
Much like Svitolina, Zvonareva also faced no real resistance in her opening round match but then again, she was facing a player ranked 289th in the world. Zvonareva came through 6-3, 6-4 against Amandine Hesse in her opener to set up this match against the Ukrainian world number five.
Zvonareva was off the blocks quickly with a break of serve in the first game and then made it 5-2 with a second break of serve. While Hesse then got one break back, Zvonareva broke for the third time in the set to snatch it 6-3.
The second set was slightly more hard-fought with both players exchanging breaks of serve in the first half of the set before Zvonareva came through on Hesse’s service game at 5-4.
The Russian’s best performance last season came at the Indian Wells $125k event where she reached the semifinal, while also managing a final at the Istanbul ITF competition. In Svitolina she has an opponent who wouldn’t give her too much respite and this might not go the distance.
Svitolina v Zvonareva Prediction and Tip
A straight-set win for Svitolina is very much on the cards here despite Zvonareva’s long-drawn experience.
Tip: Svitolina to win in straight sets: 5/6 (bet365)