WTA Finals 2021: Maria Sakkari vs. Paula Badosa Tennis Pick and Prediction
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WTA Finals 2021: Maria Sakkari vs. Paula Badosa Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2021 WTA Finals as Maria Sakkari takes on Paula Badosa in the Round Robin Stage on Saturday, November 13th, 2021.

Both Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa made strong starts on their debuts at the WTA Finals. Who will be the first among them to secure back-to-back wins and potentially qualify for the semifinals? This is such an intriguing affair between two skillful players on the women’s tour.

Maria Sakkari played Iga Swiatek in her first match on Thursday afternoon at the Akron WTA Finals. The Greek brought a 2-0 winning record over the Pole and had not lost a single set in both matches. One of those meetings was of major relevance. Sakkari had ended Swiatek’s Roland Garros title defense in the quarterfinals this season. And the Greek was the astute player once more in Guadalajara after seeing off the 20-year-old in straight sets. Sakkari, who is joined by her mother in Mexico, made a real statement of intent against a visibly hampered Swiatek. The 26-year-old from Athens won a jaw dropping 26 out of 27 first-serve points, and Swiatek barely made any inroads to break the Sakkari serve. The World No. 6 would eventually close out one of her easiest matches of 2021, winning 6-2 6-4 in 86 minutes. She will now face Paula Badosa – also a winner in the other group match.

Paula Badosa shocked the top seed and pre-tournament favorite Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets at the WTA Finals. It is rare that one game can upend a tennis match. But such was the case in this encounter when Sabalenka had built a commanding lead with an early break. She was 4-2 up, 40-15, before a succession of errors from the Belarusian combined with excellent hitting by Badosa turned the match on its head. Sabalenka was broken and would admit in her post-match press conference, her game completely fell part due to frustration. Badosa, extraordinarily, reeled 10 straight games to win the match 6-4 6-0. Her second match against Maria Sakkari could be pivotal for semifinal qualifications.

This will be the first career meeting between Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa. Both players have enjoyed spectacular rises in 2021 ahead of their match at the WTA Finals. Sakkari recorded her eighth Top-10 win of the season – the most on the women’s tour this year. For Badosa, her major breakthrough came at the Madrid Open when she reached the semifinals as a wild card entrant. The Spaniard has since not looked back and has chiseled her game into a completely different level. It is tough to spot any glaring weaknesses between these two players. But Sakkari is the better server. Her varied serving, particularly the use of the kicker is something Badosa does not have in her arsenal. If it all comes down to the finer details, the Greek should have the edge.

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Maria Sakkari in 3 Sets.

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