Fixture: (4) Elise Mertens vs Anastasija Sevastova
Date: 24 February 2021
Tournament: WTA Adelaide International
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Adelaide, Australia
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $535,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Elise Mertens vs Anastasija Sevastova preview
Fouth seed Elise Mertens will face unseeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova on Wednesday, in the second round of the 2021 Adelaide International.
Elise Mertens is fresh off a victorious Grand Slam campaign, having won the women's doubles title at the Australian Open with partner Aryna Sabalenka last week. In singles, however, the Belgian had to taste defeat in the fourth round to Karolina Muchova.
Mertens is the favorite to reach the semifinal from her section in Adelaide. But the World No. 17 has been granted a tough opening match, against the inconsistent but dangerous Anastasija Sevastova.
Sevastova has had a disastrous start to 2021, with two early exits leading up to the Australian Open - where she fell at the very first hurdle. The Latvian's miseries were compounded last week, as she tasted another opening-round defeat in the Phillip Island Trophy.
Elise Mertens vs Anastasija Sevastova head-to-head
Although Anatasija Sevastova is in dismal form, her record against Elise Mertens is encouraging; the Latvian leads their head-to-head 2-0.
The most recent match between the two players was one for the ages, as Sevastova came through 11-9 in the final set at Roland Garros 2019.
Elise Mertens vs Anastasija Sevastova prediction
Elise Mertens is one of the most consistent players on tour, and she hardly ever falls in the opening round of a tournament. Mertens is solid from the baseline, boasting potent groundstrokes off both wings. The Belgian rarely blinks during rallies, and can stand toe-to-toe with just about any player on tour in long exchanges.
Anastasija Sevastova, in contrast, likes to play an unpredictable game, mixing up powerful groundstrokes with softer touches. But the 30-year-old does have a tendency to overhit, and she often makes dozens of unforced errors in her matches.
Sevastova desperately needs a strong win to get her season going, and she would be hoping for exactly that in Adelaide. But despite the Latvian's motivation, coupled with the head-to-head being on her side, Mertens is the worst possible opponent to face early in any tournament.
Prediction: Elise Mertens to win in three sets.