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Abu Dhabi Open 2023: Belinda Bencic vs. Ludmilla Samsonova Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2023 Abu Dhabi Open as Belinda Bencic takes on Ludmilla Samsonova in the final on Sunday, February 12, 2023.

Belinda Bencic is into her second final of the season. But she faces an in-form Ludmilla Samsonova who has run the gauntlet at the Abu Dhabi Open to reach the championship match. Who will prevail?

Belinda Bencic eased past Beatriz Haddad Maia at the Abu Dhabi Open, winning 6-2 6-3 to reach her second WTA final of 2023. Bencic, a title winner in Adelaide last month, picked up her 11th win in 13 matches, tying Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka for the most tour-level wins in this early part of the season. Bencic’s fresher legs made the difference in her semifinal match. Haddad Maia had tallied almost eight hours of match play in her run to the last four. The Swiss, by contrast, only three hours and 20 minutes. Bencic won 74% first serves and converted four of nine break points.

Ludmilla Samsonova, for her part, has come through a treacherous section of the draw at the Abu Dhabi Open, loaded with a mix of craft, power, and youth. She was due to play Paula Badosa in a blockbuster opener before the Spaniard withdrew due to injury. Her replacement Claire Liu was swept away 3-6 6-2 6-0. Samsonvoa then knocked out Barbora Krejcikova and doubles partner Veronika Kudermetova without dropping a set. But it was in the semifinal that she dug deep to overcome 20-year-old Chinese prodigy, Qinwen Zheng.

Ludmilla Samsonova leads Belinda Bencic 3-0 in their head-to-head. As lopsided as this rivalry looks, Bencic is the favorite to win the Abu Dhabi Open on Sunday. Samsonova has grown into the tournament with each round, but she has had some jittery moments on serve in some matches this week including her semifinal win over Zheng. Bencic is a quality returner and has the ability to make life uncomfortable for Samsonova on serve. If she succeeds in that aspect, that takes away the Russian’s armory. We reckon the Swiss will clinch her second title of 2023.

Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Belinda Bencic in 3 sets

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