The fourth seeded Aryna Sabalenka will face Russian Veronika Kudermetova in the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi final on Wednesday, January 13, 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 Veronika Kudermetova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Veronika Kudermetova Head to Head
In what was their only previous match, Sabalenka had defeated Kudermetova in the first round of an ITF-level tournament held on the hard courts of Antalya in 2015.
Sabalenka Hasn’t Lost Since the Last French Open
Maria Sakkari was probably the toughest opponent Sabalenka has faced this tournament but the Greek proved to be no match for the the Belarusian who has now won 14 matches in a row.
A streak which began at the first tournament she played since her third round loss at the French Open has already seen Sabalenka lift the trophies at the Ostrava Open and Linz Open at the end of the previous season. And she is now in the final of her third successive tournament and fourth in less than 12 months.
And Sabalenka proved to be too strong for Sakkari, winning 6-3, 6-2 in just over an hour. There were a couple of breaks for Sabalenka in both the sets, and barring one for the Greek against the run of play late in the first set, none for Sakkari.
The world number 10 raced off to a 5-1 lead with two breaks of serve in the first set, and while she faced some resistance from Sakkari in the second, broke her in the fifth game to run away with the encounter.
Sabalenka now faces a surprise, first-time finalist.
Kudermetova Wins Maiden Final Berth
While Kudermetova has won one WTA $125k title, which came in 2019, this appearance at the WTA Abu Dhabi final will be her first ever at the highest circuit. And she reached the stage of the biggest match of her career with a 7-6(8), 6-4 win over teenager Marta Kostyuk in an hour and 48 minutes.
Kudermetova wasted away four match-points in the second set, before clinching the encounter off the fifth, which followed on from her wins against Anett Kontaveit, Paula Badosa and the second seeded Elina Svitolina in the previous rounds.
The 23-year-old Russian, who previous highest ranking was 38th, would have overtaken that by the time this tournament has ended irrespective of the result of this title-decider.
It was Kostyuk who drew the first blood in their semifinal with a break of serve coming in the fourth game only for Kudermetova to break back. The Russian then took a 5-3 lead but failed to close out the set while serving, saved a set-point in the tie-breaker before finally winning the opening set.
The second set had similar drama with Kudermetova getting an upper hand twice only to lose it, losing four match-points in the process. On Kostyuk’s serve, however, Kudermetova finally got her third match-point of the game which she had no problems converting and winning the elusive place in the final.
Sabalenka v Kudermetova Prediction and Tip
Sabalenka is 3/10 to win this, while Kudermetova starts off a distant 5/2 but things could get closer than that given the latter possesses a surprise element. Going with the games market here.
Tip: Over 20.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)