TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Aryna Sabalenka (2) meets Tamara Zidansek in the Second Round on Wednesday September 1st, 2021.
Aryna Sabalenka is determined to win her maiden Grand Slam title and has an excellent opportunity here as she is seeded #2 at a Major for the second time. She has come close before but enters the 2021 US Open highly motivated and ready to compete on her favored surface. After a shaky start she will face Tamara Zidansek in the Second Round, a very tricky opponent. Can the Belarusian pass a tough test yet again and advance to the Third Round here in New York?
Aryna Sabalenka is ranked at a career-high #2 in the WTA world rankings and is also the second seed here at the 2021 US Open. The Belarusian has not played much since her run to the Semi-Finals at Wimbledon, with mixed results. A Semi-Final showing at the Rogers Cup was followed by a First Round loss to Paula Badosa in Cincinnati, so she will have taken a blow to her confidence there. She was not her usual dominant self in her First Round win over Nina Stojanovic, surprisingly needing three sets to get the victory. After some shaky tennis through the first two sets she turned it on in the third, dominating and winning it 6-0. She is the favorite here against Tamara Zidansek, but knows that she will have to be much improved if she is to advance to the Third Round.
Tamara Zidansek is unseeded here at the 2021 US Open and is the world’s #40 player. The Slovenian was in top form to start the year but has since plateaued, and after winning the title in Lausanne in July has lost in the First Round of her last two tournaments leading up to the US Open. She is a strong baseline player that has a lot of variety to her game, and is exactly the type of player that the sometimes erratic Aryna Sabalenka could struggle against. She went back to winning ways by defeating Bernarda Pera in the First Round in a solid yet unspectacular performance and will know that she has to be much improved if she is to defeat the world number two.
This is the third meeting between the two players, with the head to head series standing at 1-1. The Belarusian won their last meeting convincingly two years ago and I am expecting the same result here. She can sometimes run hot and cold, but Aryna Sabalenka has proven that she is more than just a “power hitter” over the past year and has matured a lot as a player. Tamara Zidansek is no slouch but I think that she will struggle to keep up with the world number two, especially since she has been in poor form and will be short on confidence. I don’t think it will be easy, but I expect Aryna Sabalenka to win here in two tight sets, advancing to the Third Round here at the 2021 US Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka in 2 Sets.
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