In-form and world number 10 Aryna Sabalenka will take on the 19th-ranked Kazakh Elena Rybakina in the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi quarterfinals on Monday, January 11, 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 Aryna Sabalenka v Elena Rybakina match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Elena Rybakina Head to Head
The only previous match between these two players came at the 2019 Wuhan Open and interestingly that was also held at the quarterfinal stage. Sabalenka had needed three sets to come through in that one.
Sabalenka Jogs Past Jabeur
Such has been Sabalenka’s form in recent times, she has been looking good enough to go the distance right from the start of this competition.
Coming into this first tournament of the season with back to back title wins at the Ostrava Open and Linz Open last year, Sabalenka has now notched up her 12th victory in a row by overpowering Ons Jabeur in the third round of this Abu Dhabi Open.
Sabalenka won 6-2, 6-4, following on from her straight set wins against both, Polona Hercog and Ajla Tomljanovic in the first two rounds of the competition.
In a match lasting an hour and five minutes, Sabalenka broke Jabeur twice including once to love while she served to stay in the first set. The second set was a lot closer affair, especially when Jabeur twice went a break up, first in the first game and then in the fifth but each time Sabalenka was there to turn things around quickly after that.
And then much like in the first set, as Jabeur served to stay in match, Sabalenka broke her opponent to grab the match.
Rybakina will provide one of the biggest challenges of the tournament for Sabalenka in this one.
Rybakina Rushes to Win over Kasatkina
There was a sense this third round match could go on to become a lot closer than it eventually. We had predicted a Rybakina win over Daria Kasatkina but also thought it could longer than it actually did.
The world number 19, Rybakina, instead wasted not a lot of time in making it to the last eight, beating Kasatkina 6-3, 6-4 in their third round encounter that didn’t even last an hour.
After having dismissed Lucrezia Stefanini and Xiyu Wang in her first two matches, Rybakina began so strongly Kasatkina took time to react. She was off to a flier, taking a 5-0 lead and after wrapping up the first set, then broke Kasatkina yet again to take a 3-1 lead.
While Kasatkina showed a semblance of a fight by breaking back soon after, the Kazakh broke her opponent twice more to wrap up the encounter.
Sabalenka v Rybakina Prediction and Tip
While Sabalenka is a heavy favourite in this one, starting out at 1/2, Rybakina is no pushover given her record over the past two seasons. We could see both players drop a set in this one.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)