Fixture: (8) Marketa Vondrousova vs Hsieh Su-Wei
Tournament: Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open 2021
Round: Round of 64 (First round)
Venue: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Hsieh Su-Wei vs Marketa Vondrousova preview
The first round of the Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open 2021 is all set to witness an intriguing clash between two guileful players - Hsieh Su-Wei and Marketa Vondrousova.
Hsieh is coming off of a largely forgettable 2020 in terms of singles results. The 35-year-old could make it past the first round in only one of her seven main draw appearances, and she finished the year ranked just outside the top 60.
Hsieh would now be hoping to regain the form that saw her beat top players and stage deep runs at big events through most of 2019. Against Marketa Vondrousova, however, Hsieh definitely faces an uphill task.
Vondrousova shot to fame by reaching the final at Roland Garros 2019 as a teenager. During that run, the youngster showcased her affinity for drop shots and unpredictably crafty play.
While the Czech has faded into the background since, she remains a dangerous opponent. She did show some signs of revival at the back end of last season, reaching the last four in Rome, but she was completely outplayed by Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros.
Vondrousova would be hoping to play a full injury-free season in 2021. And a solid start against a seasoned campaigner such as Hsieh could do wonders for her confidence.
Hsieh Su-Wei vs Marketa Vondrousova head-to-head
This will be the first career meeting between Hsieh Su-Wei and Marketa Vondrousova, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Hsieh Su-Wei vs Marketa Vondrousova
This encounter has all the makings of a close affair. Both women employ a lot of cunning and disguise in their game, and don't usually go for outright winners. Needless to say, we can expect some long drawn out rallies and intriguing patterns of play throughout the match.
Both Hsieh and Vondrousova are also looking to move past a poor stretch of form. The result could, therefore, come down to the will and resolve that they bring to the court.
Vondrousova might have a slight edge, given that she has the bigger groundstrokes and can sustain rallies longer than her senior opponent. That said, Hsieh has repeatedly shown that you don't always need to hit your opponent off the court to win a match.
The Taiwanese No. 1 will have to protect her serve well, given how vulnerable it can be on occasion. But if she manages to find her stride early on, she could well give the eighth seed a a run for her money.
Prediction: Marketa Vondrousova to win in three sets.Published 06 Jan 2021, 12:30 IST