Berlin 2021: Garbine Muguruza vs Elena Rybakina preview, head-to-head & prediction | bett1open

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza

Match details

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

Surface: Grass

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

Garbine Muguruza made a winning return to grass with a resounding straight-sets victory over the in-form Sorana Cirstea in the opening-round of the 2021 bett1open.

Awaiting Muguruza in the next round is Kazakh Elena Rybakina, who recovered from a set down to defeat American Shelby Rogers in her opener.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina

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

Muguruza suffered a thigh injury during the claycourt season.
Muguruza suffered a thigh injury during the claycourt season.

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

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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