Fixture: Sofia Kenin vs Yulia Putintseva
Date: 10 January 2021
Tournament: Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 16)
Venue: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Sofia Kenin vs Yulia Putintseva preview
Top seed Sofia Kenin takes on 13th seed Yulia Putintseva in the Round of 16 of the Abu Dhabi WTA Open on Sunday.
World No. 4 Kenin would like to replicate her start to last season, when she lifted the Australian Open title. But after a relatively straightforward first-round win, the American showed some rustiness in her game; her second-round opponent Kirsten Flipkens retired with injury after establishing a one-set lead.
Kenin will be looking to gain some momentum in her Round of 16 matchup against World No. 28 Yulia Putintseva, who has been in fine form so far in Abu Dhabi.
After a solid end to the 2020 season where she reached back-to-back quarterfinals at the US Open and the Italian Open, the Kazakh player has continued her good run this year. She has defeated Martina Trevisan and Barbara Krejcikova in the first two rounds, and is looking increasingly dangerous.
Sofia Kenin vs Yulia Putintseva head-to-head
The third-round encounter in Abu Dhabi is the first between Sofia Kenin and Yulia Putintseva on the WTA Tour, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Sofia Kenin vs Yulia Putintseva prediction
Sofia Kenin comes into the match against Yulia Putintseva as the favorite on paper given her recent form and superior ranking. But the American's performance against Flipkens was a cause for concern, and Putintseva is a much higher-rated opponent than anyone Kenin has faced so far in Abu Dhabi.
Kenin's quick-strike playing style yielded plenty of positive returns in 2020, and she has the proven ability of getting results even when she's not at her best. But Putintseva will look to negate the firepower of her opponent with her clever counterpunches - a strategy that has produced outstanding results on both clay and hardcourt.
The Kazakh has a solid baseline game, and she won't give Kenin much pace to work with. That could make things very uncomfortable for the American.
All things considered, however, Kenin should be expected to narrowly edge her opponent given her ability to raise her game under pressure.
Prediction: Sofia Kenin to win in three sets.Published 09 Jan 2021, 18:51 IST