World number 18 Maria Sakkari of Greece will take on American and 35th-ranked Cori Gauff in the second round of the 2021 Italian Open on Wednesday, May 12. Get the live streaming options of this Maria Sakkari v Cori Gauff match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Maria Sakkari v Cori Gauff Head to Head
There have been two previous meetings between these two players and both were won by Sakkari. Both those matches came on hard court surfaces, with Sakkari not dropping a set at either the Cincinnati Open last year or the Abu Dhabi Open this.
This will be their first meeting on clay.
Sakkari Battles Past Hercog
It wasn’t a straightforward first round win for Sakkari who came through in fighting style against Polona Hercog to seal this meeting with her Amerrcan opponent.
Sakkari, who had earlier made it as far as the third round in Madrid, needed two hours and 51 minutes to make it past Hercog, winning 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2.
The 17th seed broke early in the first set and had a chance to repeat the dose again in the third and fifth games too but missed out. And those misses looked like they would prove costly when Sakkari was broken back in the 10th game before Sakkari finally clinched the set off her third set-point in a tie-breaker.
Hercog stormed back from 2-0 down in the second set to break Sakkari thrice and force a decider but that was about the fight she put up. Sakkari went 2-0 up again in the third set and this time around there was no comebacks from her opponent as the Greek finished things off by breaking for the second time in the third.
It will be a lot tougher second round match for Sakkari.
Gauff Bounces Back from Madrid Loss
A talented teenager, Gauff would be hoping to climb up in the rankings charts quickly so as to avoid a repeat of what happened in Madrid. The American was pitted against Karolina Pliskova in the very first round of that competition and while she put up a strong fight, the American went down in three in that match.
Gauff looks to have recovered well from that defeat though as she carved out a three-set victory over Yulia Putintseva in the first round here.
In a match lasting nearly three hours, Gauff emulated her best showing in Rome with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win against Putintseva. The American hammered four aces and while she didn’t get a lot of other first serves in (63% to her opponent’s 70% and 54% points won to Putintseva’s 58%),
It now remains to be seen if Gauff can continue that run on clay after having reached the quarterfinal at the Charleston Open.
Sakkari v Gauff Prediction and Tip
Sakkari will be a favourite here at 4/9 but we expect the fighting Gauff to claim at least one set in this encounter.