In a match between familiar rivals, Maria Sakkari will take on Anett Kontaveit for a place in the third round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Sunday, May 2. Get the live streaming options of this Maria Sakkari v Anett Kontaveit match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Maria Sakkari v Anett Kontaveit Head to Head
There have been six previous outings between these two at the highest level and the scoreline is 3-3. They had also faced off in a couple of qualifying rounds of tournaments and won one apiece.
More recently, Sakkari and Kontaveit had a meeting at the Grampians Trophy in the lead-up to the Australian Open and Kontaveit had won the final set match tie-breaker 11-9.
Interestingly, on clay, it’s 1-1 with Kontaveit winning at Gstaad in 2016 and Sakkari retaliating with one in Rome in 2019.
Only one of these eight matches has gone to a third set.
Sakkari Comes Through after Shocking First Set
Sakkari had gone in as a 1/2 favourite in her opener against Amanda Anisimova, and so when she fell to a 6-0 loss in the opening set it would have come as a shock to most. She lost the first game of the second set as well before finally making a plunge into the match, winning seven on the bounce to turn things round.
And while Anisimova broke back a couple of times to bring the match on serve at 2-3, the American was broken yet again in the sixth game.
The world number 19 from Greece had a match-point on Anisimova’s serve at 5-2, but frittered that away, then lost another serve while serving for the match at 5-3 before breaking Anisimova in the 10th game of the set to end up a winner in a topsy-turvy encounter.
The Greek will need to do a lot better against Kontaveit if she needs to double her Madrid match win count.
Kontaveit Scrapes Past Stojanovic
Coming off a quarterfinal appearance at the Stuttgart Open, Kontaveit was a strong favourite to get past Serbian qualifier Nina Stojanovic in her opener here.
However, a plethora of unforced errors and a total of 13 breaks of serves from both players combined meant the match went for over two hours before the Estonian came through. In the end, Kontaveit won 7-6 (4), 7-5 with Stojanovic missing two chances to serve for the first set.
In a topsy-turvy first set, Kontaveit was a break down and then broke twice to go one up, only to then get broken twice in a row. However, Stojanovic failed to serve it out at 5-4 and then again at 6-5, before Kontaveit closing out the tie-breaker from 3-3.
The second set began with Kontaveit starting out with a break of serve only for her to drop it again. She broke in the fifth game, got herself three match-points in the ninth game which missed and then finally converted it in the 12th game of the set to clinch the match.
Can she now shrug off the rustiness that was on display in her second round match?
Sakkari v Kontaveit Prediction and Tip
Sakkari is only inches ahead in this one, starting out at 4/5 as compared to Kontaveit’s 1/1 for her win. Backing the in-form Sakkari to get through here.