World number three Aryna Sabalenka will be up against Poland’s Magda Linette in the first round of the Olympics men’s singles on Sunday, July 25. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Magda Linette match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Magda Linette Head to Head
Their only previous meeting came at the 2018 Tianjin Open and Sabalenka won that in straight sets to make it to the quarterfinals.
Sabalenka in the Form of Her Life
Since winning her first WTA $125k title in Mumbai in 2017, Sabalenka has continued to rage on and collect titles at the highest level. This year she triumphed at Abu Dhabi and Madrid, to go with making it to the final of Stuttgart Open.
However, the biggest miss in Sabalenka’s tennis resume was a lack of quarterfinal appearance at any of the Grand Slams. At Wimbledon earlier this month, she changed that around with a solid showing which saw her reach the semifinal before falling in three sets to Karolina Pliskova.
Sabalenka will be chuffed by her efforts this season which have seen her check multiple boxes.
And as a result of that, Sabalenka has reached number three on the WTA Rankings, sending Simona Halep behind her. The Belarusian is one of the top contenders for a medal here and starting out against a player ranked 45th, Sabalenka shouldn’t have too much of a problem.
Linette Underwhelming in 2021
While Linette emulated her previous best performance at a Grand Slam by reaching the third round at Wimbledon earlier this month, her performances this year have been anything but exemplary.
In fact, at a time when two of her fellow Polish players are making all the waves, Linette would be deeply disappointed with the way she has barely done anything of note other than that third round appearance at Wimbledon.
Of the 16 main draw matches Linette has played this season, she has won and lost eight. Add another defeat in the qualifiers of Eastbourne and she has the kind of season she would like to quickly overturn.
After all it wasn’t too long ago Linette was exhibiting form that could have propelled her into the top 30 – she had won New York Open in 2019 and followed it up with a Hua Hin Open triumph in 2020 just before the pandemic struck.
Facing the world number three here would be a stiff challenge obviously but can Linette show herself she is capable of a lot more even if it is in a lost cause?
Sabalenka v Linette Prediction and Tip
By the looks of it, a straight-set win for Sabalenka looks the most likely outcome here. A slightly riskier bet would be for a Sabalenka win and over 17.5 games in the match with the lack of tennis in its leadup evening things up a little between the two.