Date: 13 January 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021 qualifiers
Round: Second round
Venue: Dubai, UAE
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Match timing: Approx. 4 pm local time, 5.30 pm IST
Mihaela Buzarnescu vs Whitney Osuigwe preview
Mihaela Buzarnescu overcame talented youngster Claire Liu on Tuesday to advance to the final round of the 2021 Australian Open qualifiers.
The former world no. 20 wasn't at her best on the day, but played the big points well enough to edge out the spirited Liu. Next up for her is Whitney Osuigwe, the 18-year-old American who had beaten Liu for the girls' singles title at the 2017 French Open.
Osuigwe differs in style of play from a lot of her fellow Americans. She enjoys playing on clay more than quicker surfaces, and her biggest strengths lie not in her groundstrokes but in her physical fitness and movement across the court.
Even so, the youngster has a powerful serve that sets her up well for quick finishes at the net. She used her first delivery well in her last match, winning a good percentage of points behind it.
Against a good returner like Buzarnescu, Osuigwe will need all the help that she can get from her serve.
Mihaela Buzarnescu vs Whitney Osuigwe head-to-head
Mihaela Buzarnescu and Whitney Osuigwe have never crossed paths on the senior tour before, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Mihaela Buzarnescu vs Whitney Osuigwe prediction
Mihaela Buzarnescu will be feeling good about her hard-fought win in the last match, but she will need to clean her game up a little ahead of the final round.
The Romanian showed good intent against Liu, but gave away a few too many free points through unforced errors. That sort of hit-or-miss game could cost her dearly in a big match, especially when put across the net from a consistent player like Whitney Osuigwe.
That being said, the match still remains Buzarnescu's for the taking. If she can manage to keep her emotions in check and play with a little more restraint, there's only so much that the young American can do to stop her.
Prediction: Mihaela Buzarnescu to win in three sets.Published 13 Jan 2021, 00:42 IST