Date: 26 September 2021
Tournament: J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2021
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Not before 2.30 pm local time, 12.30 pm GMT, 8.30 am EST, 6 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit preview
Fourth seed Maria Sakkari will take on familiar foe Anett Kontaveit in the final of the 2021 Ostrava Open on Sunday. While Sakkari saw off top seed Iga Swiatek 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals, Kontaveit dismantled second seed Petra Kvitova 6-0, 6-4.
Maria Sakkari has been causing quite a few ripples on the tour this season. She advanced to the semifinals of the US Open earlier this month, and has now gone a step further in Ostrava.
The Greek had reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros in June, where she lost to eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova. Her impressive results have propelled her to a career-high ranking of No. 12, and she is slated to crack the top 10 on Monday.
Sakkari will be bidding for her second career title on Sunday in the Czech city, where she also made the last four last year.
Her opponent in the final, Anett Kontaveit, has had relatively mediocre showings at the Grand Slams this year but found title glory at the tour level. Kontaveit finished as a finalist in Eastbourne before lifting the trophy in Cleveland. She had also shared the title at the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne earlier this year.
The Estonian made her Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, where she lost in the first round to Maria Sakkari. On Sunday, Kontaveit will look to better her dismal 2-6 win-loss record in finals and clinch her third career title.
Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit head-to-head
Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit have faced each other 10 times, with Sakkari currently leading the head-to-head 6-4. The Greek also won their most recent encounter in straight sets, which took place at the Tokyo Olympics.
Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit prediction
Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit like to attack from the baseline, and are aggressive off both wings. Their footwork is pretty good too, and we can expect to see some fast-paced exchanges between the two players on Sunday.
While their playing styles are similar, Sakkari's heavier groundstrokes and stronger serve could give her a significant edge in the match. In her previous encounter against Iga Swiatek, the 26-year-old struck seven aces and was broken just once in close to two hours of play.
Sakkari has been riding a wave of momentum since her semifinal run at the US Open, and is showing no signs of stopping. She has tackled Kontaveit's challenge multiple times before, and should be able to grind out a victory on Sunday too.
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Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in three sets.