WTA Abu Dhabi Open 2021 Finals: Aryna Sabalenka v Veronika Kudermetova Preview, Head-to-Head, Predictions

Published 01/12/2021, 12:35 PM EST
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus celebrates after winning a point during her Women’s Singles second round match against Daria Kasatkina of Russia on day five of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


It’s time for the final of the WTA Abu Dhabi Open 2021 in which Aryna Sabalenka will face Veronika Kudermetova. The contest will be electrifying as both the players have had a great run in the tournament owing to which they’ve made it so far.

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While Sabalenka defeated the in-form Maria Sakkari in the semi-finals, Kudermetova thrashed Marta Kostyuk to get to the championship match. Although Kudermetova battled past Kostyuk quite easily, it was the quarters match against Elina Svitolina which brought her to the limelight. The Russian not only managed a comeback but defeated Svitolina in the tie-breaker of the final set as well.

Aryna Sabalenka v Veronika Kudermetova: Preview

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World No.10 Sabalenka is currently on a 14-match winning streak since she won the Linz Open 2020. In her first match against Polona Hercog, she made an incredible comeback in the very first set. The Belarusian player was down 2-5 in the first set but saved five match-points and won the set 7-6.

On the other hand, Kudermetova has also played some exciting tennis in Abu Dhabi so far. Her victory against the World No.5 Svitolina was something that shocked the tennis world. Despite losing the first set, the Russian player didn’t lose hope and was able to make a terrific comeback.

While Kudermetova has lost just two sets in the tournament so far, Sabalenka has lost just one, which was against Elena Rybakina in the quarters. Sabalenka is ruthless when it comes to her forehand and swings hard when she gets the ball in her zone. Her timing and placement complement her power, and the opponent usually doesn’t have an answer.

In order to give herself a chance, Kudermetova will definitely look to improve her block. When it comes to services, just like Sabalenka, she has got a great serve. The Russian will surely try to take that advantage of that and will want to win as many free points off of her service as possible.

Sabalenka v Kudermetova: Head-to-Head

This will be the second time the two players will play against each other. Currently, Sabalenka leads the head-to-head battle 1-0 from when she had steamrolled Kudermetova at Antalya in 2015. The final scoreline of that match was 6-3, 6-3.

Thus, Kudermetova will surely want to avenge that loss after almost five years and win the title.

Sabalenka v Kudermetova: Predictions

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Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus waits to return a serve during her Women’s Singles first-round match against Oceane Dodin of France 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 Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Despite Kudermetova’s phenomenal form, Sabalenka will start as the favorite in the finals. Her splendid forehands, touchy drops, timed volleys, and powerful serves put her way ahead of Kudermetova. To add to it, even if she faces trouble, she now knows how to produce a comeback as well.

However, Kudermetova should not be considered the underdog. She has proved that she has the ability to handle pressure and make a comeback as well. In order to exert aggression, Sabalenka often makes some unforced errors, and the Russian will certainly try to exploit that.

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Whoever wins, it will definitely be an intriguing final to watch. Will Sabalenka be able to win yet another title, or will Kudermetova break her winning streak and win the first title of the 2021 season?

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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