Mutua Madrid Open 2021 Quarterfinals: Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens Preview, Head-to-Head, Prediction

Published 05/05/2021, 2:08 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Doubles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 19, 2021 Belgium’s Elise Mertens and Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrate with the trophy after winning the women’s doubles final against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Australian Open 2021 doubles title winners, Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens, will now fight one other for a place in the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 semifinals. Given their form, this matchup will stand out as a total entertainer from the other quarterfinals.

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Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens: Preview

The Belarusian World No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka is one of the emerging stars on the women’s circuit. In 2021, she picked up the Abu Dhabi Open title and finished as the runner-up at the WTA Stuttgart Open.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in action during her fourth round match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Additionally, the fifth seed annihilated her previous three opponents in straight sets to reach the last 16 in Madrid. Her wins came over Vera Zvonareva, Daria Kasatkina, and Jessica Pegula.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old still has work left ahead of her to win the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 title. This time around, Sabalenka will find her good friend and 11th seed Elise Mertens across the net.

Much like the Belarusian, the 25-year-old Belgian bagged the Gippsland Trophy and reached the Istanbul Open final. Moreover, hard work in the Spanish capital has helped Mertens seal a place in the last 16.

Tennis – WTA Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 4, 2021 Belgium’s Elise Mertens celebrates winning her round of 16 match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Sergio Perez

But more importantly, Mertens will come with all the confidence she needs, as she has upset the title-favorite and World No. 3 Simona Halep. Since Halep is one of the top players on clay, it makes the win more valuable for Mertens.

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Sabalenka vs Mertens: Head-to-Head

Sabalenka has a 4-2 advantage over Mertens in their head-to-head battles. The pair last fought in Linz Open 2020 final, where the Belarusian came through 7-5, 6-2.

Interestingly enough, only the Belgian has the experience of defeating her next opponent on a clay surface. Mertens took out Sabalenka in their first-ever encounter at the Lugano Open 2018 with the same score 7-5, 6-2.

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Sabalenka vs Mertens: Prediction

Sabalenka has looked fresh in Madrid, losing only 12 games so far, and she will want to finish this match similarly.

Her big serve and thundering strokes are her most valuable weapons, and the Belarusian will not be shy of using them against her former doubles partner.

Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 25, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in action during the Final against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

On the other side, Mertens feeds off the opponent’s energy to stay in lengthy matches. However, it will be a strenuous challenge to maintain a high level against Sabalenka’s aggressive game.

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The outcome would highly depend on Mertens’s recovery from her two hours and 36 minutes battle against Halep. Hence, Sabalenka has an upper hand to sweep another straight-sets win.

Prediction: Sabalenka defeats Mertens in three sets.

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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