Elise Mertens of Belgium will hope to continue her brilliant run in Dubai this week as she faces the Chinese player Lin Zhu in the first round. The match will be played on Monday, February 18, at around 5 pm local time (1 pm BST).
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Elise Mertens v Lin Zhu Head to Head
Mertens and Zhu have met only once prior to this encounter. That meeting took place last year in Tianjin and Mertens won that match in straight sets.
Mertens Wins the Biggest Title of her Career
Elise Mertens is heading into this fixture on the back of a sensational performance in Qatar last week. The 23-year-old Belgian won the Premier-level tournament in Doha after defeating some of the biggest names on the tour – Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, and finally, Simona Halep.
With that win, she also moved up to the 16th place in the world – just four spots shy of her career-best ranking. Prior to this, the Belgian also found herself competing in Sydney and Melbourne, where she reached the quarterfinal and the third round respectively.
Mertens is a renowned doubles player as it is and now, it appears that she is taking the singles circuit by the storm as well. Last year, she won three singles titles – all of which were on the International level. As for her performance in the Grand Slams, she reached the third round at the Wimbledon and fourth round at the Roland Garros.
Zhu Looking to Build Some Momentum
Lin Zhu, who is currently the World No. 107, most recently won an ITF event in Singapore. Thereafter, she travelled to Doha in the hopes of continuing her winning spell but lost in the first round to Anett Kontaveit.
However, it is worth mentioning that she cleared the qualifying rounds there without any difficulties. It is fair to say that Zhu is not among the most formidable players on the women’s circuit. Last year, she spent most of her time playing the 125K Series and ITF events.
At the same time, Zhu did have a good run in WTA Nanchang, where she reached the semifinal but ended up losing to Saisai Zheng.
Mertens v Zhu Predictions & Tips
Mertens will be expected to win this match in straight sets, given her recent form and confidence. Unibet are offering 5/6 for the Belgian to prevail with a 2-0 set score.
You can watch & bet on Elise Mertens v Lin Zhu on Monday, February 18. The match will be held at around 5:00 pm local time.