Fixture: (1) Maria Sakkari vs (8) Elise Mertens.
Date: 11 February, 2022.
Tournament: St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy.
Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia.
Category: WTA 500.
Surface: Indoor Hardcourt.
Prize money: $703,580.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Maria Sakkari vs Elise Mertens preview
Top seed Maria Sakkari will take on eighth seed Elise Mertens in an exciting quarterfinal showdown at the 2022 St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy on Friday.
Sakkari secured a straightforward 6-2, 6-4 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova to advance to her first quarterfinal of the year. The Greek was in total control of the match and didn't face a single break point. She defeated Anastasia Potapova in straight sets as well in the first round.
The Greek made a slow start to the season, bowing out in the second round of the Adelaide International. She did well at the Australian Open, reaching the fourth round for the second time. Sakkari will be keen to continue her good run of form all the way to the title in St. Petersburg.
Meanwhile, Elise Mertens overcame a tough challenge from Petra Martic to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and book her spot in the final eight. She raced to a 5-1 lead rather quickly in the first set, but the Croat staged a huge comeback, saving three set points to reach 4-5.
Mertens managed to serve out the set on her second attempt. However, Martic continued to fight and leveled the match by winning the next set. The Belgian started the deciding set on the backfoot, but stepped up her level considerably to win the match.
Mertens needed three sets to win in the first round as well, as she came back from a set down to defeat Alize Cornet.
Maria Sakkari vs Elise Mertens head-to-head
The two are familiar foes having met eight times on the tour so far, with the head-to-head tied at 4-4. Sakkari won their most recent encounter at the 2021 Roland Garros in three sets.
Maria Sakkari vs Elise Mertens prediction
Sakkari has won both of her matches rather comfortably, while Mertens has been pushed to the limit. The top seed will have a slight edge going into this contest based on how both players have played so far.
The duo are quite familiar with each other's games by now, having built up quite the rivalry over the years. Mertens is competent in all aspects of the game and her considerable doubles experience gives her an advantage at the net.
Sakkari, on the other hand, is primarily an aggressive baseliner who likes to engage in grueling rallies from the back of the court.
Mertens will be up for the challenge, but she is likely to be blown away by Sakkari's power.
Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in straight sets.