WTA Insider analyzes the draw and shows a preview of the WTA Women’s Tennis Open in Abu Dhabi, the first tournament of the 2021 season.
From Courtney Nguyen – WTA Insider
Photo by WTA / Jimmie48
The 2021 WTA season begins with the WTA Women’s Tennis Open in Abu Dhabi, a WTA 500 event in the United Arab Emirates. Here’s what you need to know when the tour starts.
Qualifying starts on Tuesday 5th. January, and on Wednesday the 6th. January, the main draw for the start of the WTA season 2021 begins. Both the singles and the doubles finals will be on Wednesday the 13th. January.
2. In the first event of the 2021 season, four top 10 players will lead the field.
Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, No.. 5 Elina Svitolina, No.. 6 Karolina Pliskova and No.. 10 Aryna Sabalenka is leading the field in this WTA 500 event.
Kenin with top seeds and two-time major champion Garbiñe Muguruza anchor the top quarter of the draw and could meet in the quarter-finals. Less than 12 months ago, Kenin rallied in the third set to claim victory in their first grand final, beating Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win the Australian Open. Kenin leads the head-to-head game 2-0.
Main draw in Abu Dhabi, where Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka are the top seeds. 1Rs include: Muguruza-MladenovicJabeur-Pavlyuchenkovahttps: // t. co / YSzFRuOF5XVondrousova-HsiehSvitolina-Pugula pic. Twitter. com / CvRGc1Mu0y
The WTA player of the year 2020 opens her season against a qualification in the first round and could against No.. 13 seeds Yulia Putintseva in the round of 16.
Muguruza starts her campaign against Kristina Mladenovic in 2021. The first seed she might encounter is no. 9 seeds Maria Sakkari. The Greek star could face 16-year-old Coco Gauff in the second round.
The world no. 10 ended the 2020 season with a winning streak of nine games and won in Ostrava (i.e.. Azarenka in the final) and Linz (d. Mertens in the final) and for the first time in her young career in the top 10. The 22-year-old achieved good results in the first week of the season after taking the title in Shenzhen in 2019.
The No.. 4 seeds were pulled into the hard top half of the draw. It opens against the Slovenian Polona Hercog, the first meeting of the two since 2018, and could against No.. 15 seeds Ons Jabeur in the round of 16. Elena Rybakina, who led the tour with six finals in 2020, is also lurking in Sabalenka’s neighborhood.
Karolina Pliskova chats with trainer Sascha Bajin during training at the 2021 WTA Women’s Tennis Open in Abu Dhabi.
Photo by WTA / Jimmie48
The big Czech teamed up with new trainer Sascha Bajin in the off-season and will try to repeat her historic success in week 1. Pliskova has won a title in the first week of the season in three of the last four years (2017 Brisbane, 2019 Brisbane, 2020 Brisbane) and set a 16-1 record during that time.
Pliskova opens against Sorana Cirstea, her first individual game since 2017 in Beijing. The first seed she might face is the 16th. Seed Donna Vekic, who hired coach Sam Sumyk late last season. Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova (2019) and US Open semi-finalist Jennifer Brady (2020) round off the seeds in Pliskova’s quarter of the draw.
The final quarter of the draw has a number of standout 2020 players, many of whom have a proven history of quick season starts. No. 2 seeds Svitolina and No.. 7 seed Elise Mertens anchors the quarter with no. 10 Anett Kontaveit and No.. 17 Ekaterina Alexandrova rounds off the seeds.
World No.. 5 Svitolina won two titles in 2020 (Monterrey, Strasbourg) and added a third quarter-final from Roland Garros to her résumé. The 2019 WTA final winner opens her season against up-and-coming American talent Jessica Pegula. In the second round, the Palermo champions of 2020, Fiona Ferro or Vera Zvonareva are waiting.
Early training on Monday morning 😌💃 with @SabalenkaA Sun is slowly coming to the square ☀️ # 8 o’clock #workit #wta #abudhabi pic. Twitter. com / 5YfGnww26r
No.. 20 Mertens was a constant force after restarting the tour in 2020, reaching the quarter-finals or better in six of their last seven events, including two finals (Prague, Linz). . The Belgian opens against Alizé Cornet and could face No.. 23 Kontaveit in the round of 16. The Estonians had a strong and stable 2020 season that included their first major quarter-finals at the Australian Open, their best US Open in the round of 16 and a quarter-finals at the Western & Southern Open.
Russian Alexandrova has proven to be a growing threat on the hard courts last season, winning the title in week 1 at the Shenzhen Open and in the semi-finals in St. . Petersburg and Linz. The 22-year-old opens against Zarina Diyas.
Photo by WTA / Jimmie48
Youngsters have been the history of the WTA tour for the past four seasons. Jelena Ostapenko appeared to be the youth movement with winning Roland Garros in 2017 on her 20th. Birthday and inspired Naomi Osaka to win her first of three big titles a year later as an aspiring 20-year-old.
Canada’s youthful phenomenon Bianca Andreescu followed in her footsteps a year later and won the 2019 US Open (in addition to Indian Wells and Toronto). 19-year-old Polish woman Iga Swiatek kept the trend going in 2020. She is on her way to the Roland Garros title.
Five teenagers take part directly in the draw in Abu Dhabi, led by 16-year-old American Coco Gauff. Membership no. 48 Gauff are No.. 88 Leylah Fernandez (18), No.. 99 Marta Kostyuk (18), No.. 101 Anastasia Potapova (19) and No.. 123 Wang Qiyu (19).
Gauff starts her 2021 season against No.. 260 Ulrikke Eikeri from Norway. Canada’s Fernandez meets Jasmine Paolini, Kostyuk opens against a qualifier, Potapova takes on No.. 9 seeds Sakkari, and Wang takes on the Dutch Arantxa Rus.
. Many thanks to my team for always supporting me. Twitter. com / x3Z6Yq7XKB
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur made history in 2020 and became the first Arab woman to reach the quarter-finals of a slam at the Australian Open. Her fortnight in Melbourne would anticipate a career-best season as the 26-year-old played four more quarter-finals and ended the season with a career high No.. 1 finished. 31.
Photo by WTA / Jimmie48
Nobody wanted to face Elena Rybakina before the 2020 season ended, where she made four finals in her first four events, including a title in Hobart. And no one wanted to face Jennifer Brady afterwards when the hard-hitting American won her first title in Lexington and backed it up with a semi-final at the US Open. The Argentinean Nadia Podoroska won with a fantastic clip on the lower levels, which culminated in a semi-final as a qualification at Roland Garros and was named WTA Newcomer of the Year 2020.
All three are in Abu Dhabi and ready to build on their 2020 success. No. Rybakina opened with 6 seeds against a qualifier and could play against No.. 12 seeds Karolina Muchova in the round of 16.
Brady, placed 11th. , opened against Tamara Zidansek, with Canada’s Fernandez being a possible opponent in the second round and Vondrousova appearing as the eighth seed in the round of 16.
Podoroska, who trained with Muguruza in Abu Dhabi for a day, will face Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round and Vekic with 16 in the second round. Seeds. Pliskova is in the round of 16.
Muguruza vs.. . Mladenovic, Jabeur vs.. . Pavlyuchenkova, Kasatkina vs.. . Q. . Wang, Vondrousova vs.. . Hsieh, Ka. Pliskova vs.. . Cirstea, Mertens vs.. . Cornet, Kontaveit vs.. . Kudermetova, Svitolina vs.. . Pegula.
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Women’s Tennis Association, Sofia Kenin, Garbiñe Muguruza, Abu Dhabi Open, Karolína Plíšková, Abu Dhabi
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