WTA Finals 2021: Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit preview, head-to-head & prediction

Maria Sakkari at the 2021 WTA Finals.
Maria Sakkari at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Match details

Fixture: (4) Maria Sakkari vs (8) Anett Kontaveit

Date: 16 November 2021

Tournament: Akron WTA Finals 2021

Round: Semifinal

Venue: Guadalajara, Mexico

Category: Year-ending championships

Surface: Hardcourt

Prize money: $5,000,000

Match timing: 7.30 pm local time, 1:30 am GMT, 7 am IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit preview

Familiar foes Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit have set up an exciting semi-final encounter at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Sakkari had to battle hard to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in three sets to move on to the semifinals of the tournament at Guadalajara.

A TITANIC WIN! 🔥🇬🇷 @mariasakkari secures her place into the semifinals after defeating Sabalenka in a blockbuster match! ⚡️#AKRONWTAFinals

After winning her first round-robin tie against Iga Swiatek quite easily, Sakkari lost her next one to Paula Badosa in two close sets. Sabalenka also had a similar showing. She lost in straight sets against Badosa and won in three sets against Swiatek after going down in the first. It came down to the final group match to decide the last remaining semifinalist.

Against Sabalenka, the Greek saved a set point in the first set and then played a brilliant tie-break to win it. She found herself in a similar position in the second set as well. But after saving a set point at 5-4, she ultimately lost the set 8-6 in the tie-break. Sakkari then fell behind 1-3 in the deciding set, before turning things around to win 5 games in a row to seal the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.

Anett Kontaveit at the 2021 WTA Finals.
Anett Kontaveit at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Anett Kontaveit's 12 match winning streak came to an end at the hands of Garbine Muguruza as the former world no. 1 defeated her 6-4 6-4 in the final round-robin match of Group Teotihuacán.

The Kontaveit train continues to roll in Guadalajara! 🚂The twenty-five year old is the first into the @WTAFinals semifinals! ✨⬇️

The Estonian was the first woman to qualify for the semifinals as she easily won her first two group matches by defeating Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova.

While Kontaveit's unbeaten run may have come to an end, she nevertheless remains a favorite for the title given her form over the last couple of months.

Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit head-to-head

Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit have built up quite the rivalry over the years. The two have played 11 times so far, with the Greek having a narrow lead in the head-to-head at 6-5. They've split their 4 meetings this year evenly, with Kontaveit winning their last encounter in the Ostrava Open final 6-2 7-5.

Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit prediction

Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit at the 2021 Ostrava Open.
Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit at the 2021 Ostrava Open.

Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit are quite familiar with each other's games by now and as such will need to bring something new to the table to have an edge over the other.

Both players possess an aggressive style of play, centered around their huge serve and powerful groundstrokes. Kontaveit has a bit more variety in her game and switches up her tactics to throw her opponents off-balance, but Sakkari has managed to negate that so far.

Both players are trying to reach the biggest final of their careers, so there might be some nerves at play as well, especially for Sakkari. This is her eighth semi-final of the season, but she has progressed beyond this round just once so far in her previous seven attempts.

Kontaveit, on the other hand, has reached six finals this year, so she has managed to move past the semifinals without showing any signs of nerves. Given their respective forms, the Estonian has a slight advantage in this round.

Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to win in three sets.

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya


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