Fixture: (5) Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina
Date: 17 June 2021
Tournament: bett1open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Berlin, Germany
Category: WTA 500
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 1 pm GMT, 9 am EST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel
Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina preview
Awaiting Muguruza in the next round is Kazakh Elena Rybakina, who recovered from a set down to defeat American Shelby Rogers in her opener.
Rybakina had a breakthrough season in 2020, ending the year with a total of five WTA finals under her belt. She didn't make the strongest of starts to the new season, but found some form at Roland Garros, where she made the quarterfinals.
The run in Paris, which included a win over Serena Williams, would have filled the youngster with confidence leading into the grasscourt season.
Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina head-to-head
This will be the first career meeting between Garbine Muguruza and Elena Rybakina, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina prediction
Given that both Garbine Muguruza and Elena Rybakina possess similarly power-packed games, this match will be a baseline slugfest. While Muguruza definitely holds the edge in terms of experience on grass, she does have a few other obstacles to overcome.
For starters, this is just the third tournament that Muguruza will be playing since the thigh injury she sustained during the claycourt season. She did not look too rusty in the match against Cirstea, dominating rallies from the back of the court. She will look to do much of the same on Thursday.
In Rybakina, the Spaniard comes up against a playe who is likely to get a lot of free points on her serve. The Kazakh enjoys playing in faster conditions and can do some serious damage if she finds her range from the back of the court.
There won't be too many long rallies in this match as both women will look to strike winners at the first opportunity. Ultimately, this could boil down to the two players' ability to stay calm under pressure and that's where the lack of match practice could cost Muguruza.
Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in three sets