TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Elena Rybakina (19) meets Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the First Round on Monday August 30th, 2021.
Ninteenth seeded Elena Rybakina will do battle with Aliaksandra Sasnovich for a spot in the Second Round here at the 2021 US Open. This is a potentially tricky First Round match for the Kazakh world number 20, as Sasnovich is entering this event in good form. Can she cause the major upset and send Rybakina packing here?
Elena Rybakina is ranked #20 in the WTA world rankings and is seeded 19th here at the 2021 US Open. The Kazakh star had a fantastic 2020 season but has largely failed to replicate that success this year and has been very inconsistent. She has been solid in the big events, doing well in the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics (placing fourth) but has not had much success in the smaller events, only reaching one Semi-Final. Her aggressive baseline game and ferocious competitiveness are major assets on these faster hard courts and while she has been struggling lately, her opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich is also quite inconsistent at times, and should afford her enough time to settle and get into the match.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich is unseeded here at the 2021 US Open and is currently ranked #90 in the world rankings. She will be hoping to improve on her Third Round showing here last year where she narrowly lost to Yulia Putinseva. She has had some solid results leading into this event, with back to back Quarter-Finals in Belgrade and Cleveland. While she is not as well-known as her opponent Elena Rybakina she is a very tough competitor, and can be difficult to defeat when playing well. She has a consistent baseline game but lacks the weapons to truly test her opponent here, and will be relying on errors and free points to get by here. While she is the underdog, she should not be discounted due to her current form and is certainly capable of making things interesting here.
This will be the first meeting between the two players on the WTA Tour, and I think that it will be closer than the rankings suggest. In my opinion, Elena Rybakina is the much better player but she has been playing without confidence for most of the year and has seemed tentative throughout her matches. Aliaksandra Sasnovich is no world beater, but she has had some decent results lately and showed that she can compete on the big stage. I am expecting three sets in this match with some errors on both sides, but I think that Rybakina will eventually pull through. She is liable to get off to slow starts at times so Sasnovich can possibly take an early lead, but her opponent has too much quality to stay quiet for long. Rybakina will win here, advancing to the Second Round at the 2021 US Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in three sets
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