Abu Dhabi WTA Open 2021: Maria Sakkari vs Garbine Muguruza Preview, Head-To-Head & Prediction

Published 01/09/2021, 11:59 AM EST
Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain returns the ball during her Women’s Singles first round match against Nao Hibino of Japan on Day Two of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


With the 2021 Abu Dhabi Open underway, another scintillating showdown is on the cards. Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza will lock horns with Maria Sakkari in the third round of the WTA 500 tournament. Both players have registered impressive wins in their opening two matches and are yet to lose a set.

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Former World No.1 Muguruza defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round comfortably and just lost five games en route to her victory. Seeded No.5, Muguruza created a whooping 15 breakpoint opportunities during her match against Sasnovich.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her quarter final against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

On the other hand, Sakkari faced a tough fight against the teenager, Coco Gauff, in the second-round battle. Despite being down 0-3 in the opening set, Sakkari clawed a way back into the match and hammered 18 winners to win in straight sets.

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Maria Sakkari vs Garbine Muguruza Head-to-Head

The duo will play against each other for the first time in their careers. Surprisingly, the duo hasn’t met even once, despite competing on the tour for so many years. However, the upcoming match will mark the first chapter of their rivalry.

Sakkari vs Muguruza Prediction

Over the last two matches, Muguruza’s service has been a big concern for her. In her second-round match, Muguruza a less than 40% of the points of her second serve, and a strong returner like Sakkari would make matters worse for the Spaniard.

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Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece serves against Serena Williams of the United States (not pictured) on day eight of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

The Greek possesses a powerful game from the baseline, but will have to defend well against Muguruza’s shot-making quality. Sakkari’s biggest weapon will be her big serve, which poses an enormous threat to her next round opponent.

With both players appearing a bit rusty, it’s going to be a high-octane match with some empathic rallies. However, Sakkari will have a slight upper hand considering the quick conditions.

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Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in three sets

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Kshitij Tayal

393 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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