Abu Dhabi Open 2023: Jelena Ostapenko vs Qinwen Zheng preview, head-to-head, prediction, odds and pick
Fixture: (5) Jelena Ostapenko vs Qinwen Zheng
Date: February 8, 2023.
Tournament: Abu Dhabi Open 2023.
Round: Second Round (Round of 16).
Venue: Zayed Sports City International Tennis Center, Abu Dhabi.
Category: WTA 500.
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt.
Prize money: $780,637.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Qinwen Zheng preview
Fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko will square off against Qinwen Zheng in the second round of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Open on Wednesday (February 8).
Ostapenko has been in hot and cold form in the last few months, amassing 14 wins from 21 matches and a runner-up finish at the 2022 Korea Open. The Lativian also reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. However, she couldn't fend off Kazakh Elena Rybakina. The 2022 Wimbledon winner defeated Ostapenko in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
However, the 25-year-old is back to winning ways at the Abu Dhabi Open. She began her campaign with a statement victory over Danielle Collins in the first round, outlasting the American in an intense three-set tie 7-5, 1-6, 7-5.
Qinwen Zheng, on the other hand, has also struggled to maintain her best form in the last few months. She's chalked up 13 wins from 20 matches along with a runner-up finish at the Tokyo Open.
The 20-year-old also reached the second round of the Adelaide International 2 and the 2023 Australian Open. She began her campaign in UAE with a solid win over Rebecca Marino in the first round, defeating the Canadian in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Qinwen Zheng head-to-head
Zheng leads the head-to-head against Ostapenko 1-0. She defeated the Lativian most recently at the 2022 US Open in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Qinwen Zheng odds
All odds are sourced by BetMGM. (to be updated)
Jelena Ostapenko vs Qinwen Zheng prediction
Both players will feel confident about their chances of making a deep run at the Abu Dhabi Open. While Ostapenko showed grit and determination to claw her way back into the match against Collins, Zheng oozed class in her first-round tie against Marino.
Ostapenko served decently, winning 68 % of her first serve points but couldn't hold her nerve to save five out of 10 break points against Collins. Her forehand got her out of trouble on numerous occasions and kept getting better as the match progressed.
It allowed the Lativian to close points quickly and dictate rallies against a seasoned veteran. Zheng will need to play out of her skin and adjust her game accordingly as Ostapneko looks like she means business.
The Chinese player, on the other hand, also served effortlessly against Marino, winning 80% of her first serve points. She also closed the match in an hour and 30 minutes.
Zheng has the ability to time the ball well and hit flat off both wings. She likes to step up to the baseline and take time off her opponents, which could work well against a player like Ostapenko. The Latvian is not the best mover on the court and Zheng will look to keep the pressure on the fifth seed at all times.
This second-round tie hangs in the balance and could swing either way at the WTA 500 Abu Dhabi Open. Ostapenko seems to be in better form at the moment but Zheng has only lost twice in the last seven matches. She has been knocking on the door in her efforts to capture her maiden tour-level title.
Zhen will need to be at her absolute best to progress to the next round. If she starts well, she could sneak through to the last eight of the Abu Dhabi Open.
Pick: Qinwen Zheng to win in three sets.