Fixture: Karman Thandi vs Mariam Bolkvadze
Date: 11 January 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021 qualifiers
Round: First round
Venue: Dubai, UAE
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Match timing: Approx. 12 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST
Karman Thandi vs Mariam Bolkvadze preview
India's Karman Thandi is all set to make a return to tennis at the 2021 Australian Open qualifying event, after missing most of last year due to a recurrent injury.
The 22-year-old first shot to fame in 2014, winning the Future Stars U16 year-end championships. And while she hasn't had her big break on the senior tour yet, her progress has been steady.
Thandi's opponent for the day is Mariam Bolkvadze, the 23-year-old Georgian whose career trajectory hasn't been much different from that of the Indian's.
Bolkvadze scored a big win as a junior, winning the girls' doubles title at Wimbledon 2016. But she hasn't been quite as successful on the senior circuit.
The Georgian does have a main draw singles win at a Slam though, having gotten the better of Bernarda Pera at the 2019 US Open. Bolkvadze fell in the first round of qualifying in her last two Slam appearances, and would be expecting another tough match against Thandi.
Karman Thandi vs Mariam Bolkvadze head-to-head
This is the first time that Karman Thandi and Mariam Bolkvadze are crossing paths on the senior tour, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Karman Thandi vs Mariam Bolkvadze prediction
This match is fairly well balanced, with both players having had a similar career trajectory so far. They do, however, differ in the way that they approach their matches.
While Karman Thandi enjoys taking control of the rallies, Mariam Bolkvadze has a much more conservative game. The Indian unleashes powerful groundstrokes off both her forehand and backhand wings, but consistency often eludes her.
Injuries have also prevented Thandi from playing her best tennis over long periods, and she would be hoping to play a full season in 2021.
Against Bolkvadze, Thandi has a great opportunity to test her attack. If she can manage to keep her unforced errors under check, the Indian should have a good shot at a winning return.
Prediction: Karman Thandi to win in three sets.Published 10 Jan 2021, 21:40 IST