World No. four Sofia Kenin, the tournament’s top seed, will take on Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, ranked 28th in the WTA rankings, in the second round of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Open. The match is scheduled for Sunday, January 10, with an exact time yet to be announced. Get the live streaming options of this Sofia Kenin v Yulia Putintseva match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Sofia Kenin v Yulia Putintseva Head to Head
The two have never faced each other in a competitive match before. This will be the first-ever encounter between the 22-year-old American and the 25-year-old Kazakh.
Flipkens Forced To Retire Against Kenin
Kenin, coming from a straight-sets win against Zhaoxuan Yang in the first round, had a tougher second-round tie against Kirsten Flipkens.
This was the third meeting between the two players. Despite starting slow, Flipkens recovered from 3-1 down to take the first set 7-5.
That wild first set saw a total of fifteen break points, five of which Flipkens converted to give her an edge over Kenin’s four service breaks. That included an incredible 12-point winning run at the end of the set which helped 86th-ranked Flipkens win a set against Kenin for the first time.
The second set was an equally even affair with both players going at each other. Kenin broke Flipkens once in that set and was serving to level the tie when Flipkens, unfortunately, tripped over an advertising block and hurt her ankle. The injury forced her to retire, giving Kenin an easier route to the third round.
Despite that close match, the 2020 WTA player of the year remains one of the favorites to clinch the tournament.
Putintseva Triumphs Against Krejcikova
Putintseva may have defeated Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets, but the match was closer than the 2-0 match scoreline suggests.
The first set saw Putintseva achieve 10 break points and win 19 receiver points, but Krejcikova constantly fought back and made the Kazakh settle for only one converted break point. That, however, proved crucial in giving her the first set 6-4. She also held the Czech player to 0 break points and maximized on her first and second serve points.
The second set proved to be an even wilder affair. Putintseva found herself 3-0 and 4-1 down but fought back to take the set to 5-5. She then broke Krejcikova to go 6-5 up.
Despite failing to convert match point when she first had the chance to do so, she saved three break points—which would have taken the set to a tiebreak—and converted match point at the second time of asking.
Kenin v Putintseva Prediction and Tip
Kenin comes in as an 8/15 favorite. Despite this, Putintseva has great defense, runs down every ball and, is known to make things difficult; all of which she is certain to do against Kenin.
Kenin, despite playing some nice tennis, is still finding her feet in Abu Dhabi and isn’t at her top level. She’s also making a lot of unforced errors, which could prove costly against Putintseva.
Therefore, anticipating a close tie that could go all the way seems like the best option in this one.
Tip: Match to have three sets: 6/4 (bet365)