Fixture: Kaia Kanepi vs (28) Donna Vekic
Date: 13 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80 million
Match timing: Approx 12:30 PM local time, 7 AM IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Kaia Kanepi vs Donna Vekic preview
Kaia Kanepi staged a big upset on Day 4 of the 2021 Australian Open by taking out the 4th seed and defending champion Sofia Kenin in the second round.
The Estonian seems to have found her form right at the start of the new season. She has now won eight of her nine matches in 2021.
Kanepi will look to carry that momentum into the third round, where she is set to face 28th seed Donna Vekic of Croatia.
Vekic on her part has had a poor start to 2021. She lost her opening round matches at both Abu Dhabi and the warm-up tournament in Melbourne. But the Croat has since managed to steady the ship at the year's first Slam.
Vekic earned a hard-fought three-set win over Wang Yafan before delivering a clean performance against the in-form Nadia Podoroska. Those results should give the youngster a much-needed confidence boost ahead of her match against an increasingly dangerous-looking Kanepi.
Kaia Kanepi vs Donna Vekic head-to-head
Donna Vekic leads Kaia Kanepi in the head-to-head by a slender 1-0 margin. The Croat had defeated Kanepi in straight sets at the 2019 US Open.
Kaia Kanepi vs Donna Vekic prediction
Kaia Kanepi has posted some very strong numbers in her first two matches. She has been extremely effective on serve, and very aggressive in her approach off the ground.
Kanepi has also come to the net with a considerable amount of success.
Donna Vekic does have very good consistency from the back of the court, but a defensive stance is unlikely to help her cause in this particular matchup. The Croat will instead have to come up with a plan to take the racket out of her opponent's hand.
The conditions are also likely to reward big serving and aggressive shot-making, so both players will need to find a way to keep the points short. But if the past few matches are any indication, Kanepi might be a little better equipped at doing that.
Prediction: Kaia Kanepi to win in straight sets.