Elena Rybakina and Kaia Kanepi will face off in the second round of the 2021 Miami Open on Friday, March 26. The match will start at 4:00 pm BST. Get the Elena Rybakina v Kaia Kanepi live streaming options of this match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elena Rybakina v Kaia Kanepi Head to Head
Kanepi holds a 2-0 lead over Rybakina in the head to head tally. Both of those wins came in 2018, with the last one coming in the WTA Brescia Round of 16. The Estonian won that match 6-2, 6-2.
Kanepi, Looking Sharp
Kanepi may be 35-years-old but by the looks of it, her tennis career is far from over. If anything, she is working relentlessly hard to build her form and get some wins under her belt.
Earlier this season, the Estonian was a finalist in the Gippsland Trophy where she lost to Elise Mertens in the final, but only after beating the likes of Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Muchova.
That runner-up trophy was her first WTA silverware since 2013 – that’s right – Kanepi reached her first final on the WTA Tour in over seven years in that tournament. What’s even more intriguing is the series of results that led her to the performance.
Kanepi spent the second half of the tour last season on the ITF circuit where she won three titles in the ITF $25,000 events in Spain, Turkey, and France.
All that hard work seems to be paying off for her as veteran Estonian now looks to get similar results in WTA events. Kanepi reached the third round in the Australian Open and on the way, she dispatched the Grand Slam winner Sofia Kenin and Anastasija Sevastova.
Kanepi’s last tournament was in Dubai where she lost to Shelby Rogers in the first round after clearing the qualifiers. In Miami, she dispatched Lauren Davis 6-3, 7-5 in the opener.
Rybakina, on the Prowl to Recreate her 2020 Form
Elena Rybakina made her debut in the top 20 last season after a superb, career-best performance on the tour.
She reached five WTA finals – Shenzhen, Hobart, St. Petersburg, Dubai, and Strasbourg. The Kazakh lost the final match in four of those while going the distance in Hobart to lift her maiden WTA singles trophy.
That brilliant, consistent form also saw Rybakina pick wins over the likes of Elise Mertens, Maria Sakkari, Karolina Pliskova, and Petra Martic. At the same time, there were a few events like the US Open, French Open, or the Qatar Open where she lost in the early rounds.
2021, however, hasn’t been anything like it at all for the 21-year-old Rybakina. She did start well with a quarterfinal run in the WTA Abu Dhabi but seems to have faltered after that.
In the Australian Open Series and the Middle East Swing, she never moved past the second round. In Miami, she got a bye into the second round.
Rybakina v Kanepi Prediction and Tip
This is an evenly matched fixture and can go either way. Kanepi has the experience and a psychological advantage as she leads the Kazakh 2-0. Meanwhile, Rybakina has the energy and is bustling with raw skills.
Expect a good game of tennis.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)