World number 18 Maria Sakkari starts off her 2021 Wimbledon campaign with an opening round match against the 84th-ranked Arantxa Rus on Monday, June 28. Get the live streaming options of this Maria Sakkari v Arantxa Rus match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Maria Sakkari v Arantxa Rus Head to Head
There have been two previous matches between these players and Sakkari has defeated Rus both times without dropping a set. Their most recent match came at the 2021 Miami Open.
Sakkari Kick-Starts Grass Swing
While Sakkari delivered her best Grand Slam result earlier at Roland-Garros, she will kick-start her Wimbledon campaign with no grass court matches under her belt this season.
Sakkari’s deep run at Roland-Garros, however, would have instilled some deeper belief in her own game having never gone beyond the fourth round at any Grand Slam appearance before that.
In fact Sakkari’s season hadn’t quite been going the way she would have liked after getting knocked out in the first round at Australian Open but a semifinal at Miami Open looked to have turned the corner for the Greek player.
The world number 18 got a few crucial wins on clay in the lead-up to French Open before sending Elise Mertens, Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek out at the season’s second Grand Slam on her way to the semifinal.
It’s the lack of these wins on grass before Wimbledon that could make life that much more difficult for Sakkari coming into this tournament. Question is if she can use these early round encounters to get used to things in her aim to go deep into this competition.
Grass Not Rus’ Forte
After an underwhelming start to the season at hard court tournaments, Rus looked to have turned things around on clay.
She first reached the final of an ITF competition in Spain and then moving up the ranks, Rus was a finalist the Bol Open, which is a level lower than WTA 250 competitions.
Unfortunately for Rus, grass isn’t quite her forte and in the only tournament she played on this surface in the lead-up to Wimbledon, Rus lost to Alize Cornet at a Bad Homburg opener.
Coming up against the in-form Sakkari will be a tough job despite the Greek player having not played any grass court matches this year. Rus will need to play out of her skins to win this one, which will be her first since 2012.
Sakkari v Rus Prediction and Tip
There is only one way this traffic is headed and that’s the way of Sakkari. She starts 1/8 to win this and 2/5 for a straight-set win which is what we reckon will be the case.