Date: 12 November 2020
Tournament: Upper Austria Ladies Linz Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Linz, Austria
Category: WTA International
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $202,250
Match timing: Approx. 6 pm local time, 10.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Aryna Sabalenka vs Stefanie Voegele preview
Top seed Aryna Sabalenka takes on Stefanie Voegele in the second round of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz Open on Thursday.
Sabalenka has been in blistering form over the last one month. She came into Linz on the back of a triumphant run in both singles and doubles at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open, where she defeated the likes of Victoria Azarenka, Jennifer Brady and Coco Gauff.
The 22-year-old was up against a tricky opponent in the form of Jasmine Paolini in the Linz first round. Sabalenka edged the Italian in two narrow sets to set up the second round encounter against Stefanie Voegele.
The 30-year-old Voegele hasn't done much of note this year apart from reaching the final at Newport Beach. That said, she seems to have put together a good run of form in Linz.
After qualifying for the main draw in impressive fashion, the Swiss turned in another strong performance to beat Victoria Kuzmova in the first round on Tuesday.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Stefanie Voegele head-to-head
The meeting in Linz is the second between the two players, and Aryna Sabalenka currently leads the head-to-head 1-0 over Stefanie Voegele. The Belarusian came out on top in her only meeting with Voegele, prevailing 6-4 6-2 in the Lugano semifinal in 2018.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Stefanie Voegele prediction
Aryna Sabalenka is one of the favorites for the Linz title, and carries a significant edge into her second-round encounter against Stefanie Voegele.
The World No. 11 will be eager to build on her outstanding run in Ostrava and end her season on a high. She is hands down one of the biggest hitters on tour at the moment, and her huge groundstrokes will keep Voegele on her toes throughout the match.
If Voegele is to stand a chance, she would have to redirect the pace on Sabalenka's massive strikes and take advantage of any lapses in concentration. The Belarusian did show signs of that against Paolini; her first serve rate was a mere 55%, and at one point she failed to convert eight break points in a single game.
That said, if Sabalenka is on her game, she shouldn't have too many problems getting the W on Thursday.
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.