29th-ranked Cori Gauff has an intriguing opening round match on her hands when she takes on Kaia Kanepi at the 2021 Parma Open on Monday, May 17. Get the live streaming options of this Cori Gauff v Kaia Kanepi match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Cori Gauff v Kaia Kanepi Head to Head
Gauff and Kanepi have never faced off against each other before this in a competitive match.
Gauff Makes Rome Semifinal
After a first round loss in Madrid two weeks ago, Gauff looked to kept her wits about her as she marched into the semifinal at the Italian Open that followed soon after. And it wasn’t just about making it to that stage alone, it’s the manner in which Gauff did that.
She overcame Yulia Putintseva in the first but following that, there were wins over Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka that got her through to the quarterfinal. Sabalenka was in red-hot form, having defeated Ash Barty in the final in Madrid the previous week and to have downed her would have given Gauff immense confidence.
While Gauff did get lucky with Barty’s injury in the quarterfinal, even that match wasn’t without a fight from the American racquet before her opponent’s retirement.
In doing so, Gauff has become one of the youngest players ever to break into the top 30 of the WTA rankings as she starts the new week ranked 29th in the world.
Can she now kick-start her last competition before the French Open with a solid showing?
Kanepi Looking to Return to Her Best on Clay
A former world number 15, the 35-year-old Kanepi has managed a few surprises this season but those have come on hard court surfaces. Can she do something similar on clay too, traditionally a surface on which Kanepi has done well.
A two-time French Open quarterfinalist, Kanepi has also won three of her four WTA titles on clay, with the last of which having come in 2013.
This year, however, she started off with a stunning showing at the Gippsland Trophy where she came through four wins to reach the final where she fell to Elise Mertens. In getting there, Kanepi also cruised past Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina and Ekaterina Alexandrova.
She hasn’t had a similar start to the clay swing though, losing in round two at Istanbul and then falling at the qualifying hurdle in Madrid.
And with a player like Gauff first up, the Estonian veteran will be tested to the hilt for sure.
Gauff v Kanepi Prediction and Tip
Gauff is a favourite but she would do well to not get complacent given her opponent’s long, solid history on clay. We are tempted by the games handicap market which has Kanepi at 4/5 for +4.5.