TennisSection previews the 2023 Abu Dhabi Open as Bianca Andreescu takes on Yulia Putintseva in the first round on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
Will Bianca Andreescu be fit and raring to go at the Abu Dhabi Open? The Canadian will need to be at 100% fitness-wise to avoid a first-round upset when she takes on Yulia Putintseva. Who will prevail?
Just when it looked like Bianca Andreescu was on course to win her first WTA title since 2019, the injury curse struck again. Health continues to dictate Andreescu’s matches. She was forced to retire whilst trailing Lesia Tsurenko by a set and a double break at the Thailand Open. The good news is that she is scheduled to play at the Abu Dhabi Open and it looks to have been a minor pain in her shoulder. How will she fare when she takes on Yulia Putintseva?
Yulia Putintseva has had to work her socks off from qualifying during the weekend. She secured her place in the main draw of the Abu Dhabi Open by beating Nigina Abduraimova in the second round of qualies on Monday. Given the stacked field at the event, it is not a surprise that Putintseva, a world No. 45 has had to grind past a couple of qualifying matches to get here.
Yulia Putintseva leads Bianca Andreescu 1-0 in their head-to-head. She won that match back in 2017 at the Billie Jean King Cup, when Andreescu was still a rookie on Tour. While times have changed, Andreescu’s body continues to dictate most of her matches. No doubt, the Canadian is the superior player, but last week’s retirement in Hua Hin is a microcosm of her career so far. A fully-fit Andreescu will win here at the Abu Dhabi Open quite comfortably, although we cannot really tell her fitness level prematch.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Bianca Andreescu in 3 sets
Free Value Bet: Over 19.5 games in the match
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