Doubles partners Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens will face off in the quarterfinal of the 2021 Madrid Open on Wednesday, May 5. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Elise Mertens match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Elise Mertens Head to Head
It’s 4-2 on head to head in favour of Sabalenka having won their last three matches between 2019 and 2020. This includes a title-decider at the 2020 Linz Open where Sabalenka carved out a 7-5, 6-2 victory.
There has been only one meeting on clay which came at the 2018 Lugano Open final and Mertens had won that in straight sets to win her first ever title on that surface.
Sabalenka’s Red-Hot Form Continues to Sizzle
While Sabalenka is yet to face an in-form opponent who loves playing on clay, she can’t do much about that. What she can definitely do is play those in front of her to the best of her capabilities and that’s exactly what the Belarusian has been doing all tournament.
After dropping a mere nine games across the four sets from her first two rounds against Vera Zvonareva and Daria Kasatkina, Sabalenka moved to crush American Jessica Pegula in straight sets too to march into the last eight.
Having got to the final in Stuttgart Open last week and grabbed a set off Ash Barty in that encounter before falling in three sets, Sabalenka isn’t allowing her form to go waste as she thundered past Pegula 6-1, 6-2.
It was a match that finished in a mere 54 minutes, with facing a mere solitary break-point in the entire match and easily saving it. In the meantime, she broke Pegula twice in each of the sets to complete an easy win.
Sabalenka now faces one of her toughest opponents in recent times; one because Mertens is an excellent clay-courter and two because she is her doubles partner and that makes it a lot easier for both to read each other’s game. Is another easy win in the offing?
Mertens Registers Excellent Win over Halep
Belgian Mertens came back from a break down in each of the last two sets after losing the first to shock Simona Halep in her third round match and enter another quarterfinal for the season.
In a match lasting two hours and 34 minutes, Mertens made a comeback 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over the world number three and seal her meeting with her old friend Sabalenka.
The world number 16, who had never defeated Halep on clay before this, lost the first set, fell 3-1 down in each of the three sets. And while she failed to make a comeback of note in the first, Mertens found a way to break through the Halep defences in the next two to shock the tennis world.
In fact, Halep served for a 5-3 lead in the final set but Mertens, who later said her tactic was to remain on court for as long as possible, broke back and from there on took command of the encounter.
Can she now cause an even bigger upset given Sabalenka red-hot form?
Sabalenka v Mertens Prediction and Tip
Sabalenka starts off 4/9 to win this but once Mertens gets into some sort of rhythm, she is difficult to beat. We back Mertens to take at least a set off Sabalenka here.