TennisSection previews the 2023 Abu Dhabi Open as Paula Badosa takes on Ludmilla Samsonova in the first round on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
Paula Badosa will be playing for the first time since Adelaide. The Spaniard faces a daunting task in her first-round match at the Abu Dhabi Open, taking on power-hitting eighth seed, Ludmilla Samsonova. Who will prevail?
After a promising start to her 2023 campaign, Paula Badosa was forced to withdraw from her scheduled semifinal at the Adelaide Open due to a thigh injury. It came about in her marathon quarterfinal match against Beatriz Haddad Maia at the same tournament in which she pulled up a muscle. The nature of the injury was worse than originally thought, and Badosa disappointingly missed out on this year’s Australian Open.
Ludmilla Samsonova, for her part, has endured a rocky start to the year on the court. She is 2-3 in her opening three tournaments of the season and was thumped by Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-3 6-0 in the second round of the Australian Open. It was an incredible result and one that really raised eyebrows considering the Russian’s reputation as one of the most dominant players on hard courts in the past year. Can she return to winning ways at the Abu Dhabi Open?
Ludmilla Samsonova leads Paula Badosa 2-0 in their head-to-head. Badosa is only just getting back from injury and we are unsure how her adductors will respond at the Abu Dhabi Open. She has put in some tough shifts in practice sessions and hopefully, she is fit again. I can’t help but feel this is not a favorable matchup for her immediately after an injury. And despite Samsonova’s woeful start to the year, she might look to use her power off the ground to test Badosa’s movement.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Ludmilla Samsonova in 3 sets
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