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Australian Open 2021 qualifiers: Karman Thandi vs Mariam Bolkvadze preview, head-to-head & prediction

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Karman Thandi
ANALYST
Modified 10 Jan 2021, 21:40 IST
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Match details

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

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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.

Mariam Bolkvadze
Mariam Bolkvadze

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

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Karman Thandi enjoys playing an aggressive brand of tennis.
Karman Thandi enjoys playing an aggressive brand of tennis.

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
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