Date: 21 September 2021
Tournament: Ostrava Open 2021
Round: First (Round of 32)
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Approx 7.30 pm local time, 5.30 pm GMT, 1.30 pm EST, 11.00 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Elena Rybakina vs Veronika Kudermetova preview
Seventh seed Elena Rybakina opens her J & T Banka Ostrava Open campaign with a first rounder against World No. 31 Veronika Kudermetova on Tuesday.
After struggling in the first few months of the season, Rybakina finally found her rhythm at Roland Garros, where she reached her maiden Slam quarterfinal. The Kazakh has been consistent with her results since then, even though she still lacks a title this year.
Rybakina carried her momentum into Eastbourne as well as the Olympics, reaching the semis at both places. She then made the San Jose quarterfinals before losing a tight three-setter to Simona Halep in the third round of the US Open.
Veronika Kudermetova, in contrast, hasn't been able to win anything big in singles of late despite having made a strong start to the season.
The Russian reached the final in Abu Dhabi and backed that up with her maiden WTA title in Charleston and a run to the semifinals in Istanbul. But she has been in a major slump since then, having failed to make the quarterfinals in her last 10 events.
Kudermetova has excelled in doubles though, reaching the final at Wimbledon and the bronze medal playoff at the Olympics.
Elena Rybakina vs Veronika Kudermetova head-to-head
Elena Rybakina leads Veronika Kudermetova 1-0 in the head-to-head. The Kazakh won their solitary encounter - in the first round of qualifying at the 2018 St. Petersburg Open - by a scoreline of 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Elena Rybakina vs Veronika Kudermetova prediction
Elena Rybakina likes to take the ball early, which should give her an edge in the fast indoor conditions. If she can get her big serve going and be aggressive off the ground, Rybakina should be able to dictate the proceedings.
But the 22-year-old has been prone to choking under pressure lately, and has conceded several huge leads over the last few weeks. If that happens again on Tuesday, Veronika Kudermetova would be happy to take advantage.
The Russian plays an attacking brand of tennis herself, and won't hesitate to pounce on any chances that come her way. A proficient doubles player, Kudermetova will also try to come forward and finish points at the net, thus depriving Rybakina of time.
That said, the World No. 16 has been in better form than Kudermetova over the last few months. If she can keep her head steady and cut down on her unforced errors, Rybakina should be able to get over the finish line.
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Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in three sets.