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US Open 2020: Aryna Sabalenka vs Oceane Dodin preview, head-to-head & prediction

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2020 Top Seed Open
Aryna Sabalenka at the 2020 Top Seed Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 31 Aug 2020, 14:59 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Aryna Sabalenka vs Oceane Dodin

Date: 1 September 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: First round (Round of 128)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: 4.30 pm EDT, 2 am IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar

Aryna Sabalenka vs Oceane Dodin preview

Oceane Dodin at Miami Open 2018
Oceane Dodin at Miami Open 2018

Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka looks to get her US Open campaign off to a winning start as she faces Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin in the first round on Tuesday.

Sabalenka was perhaps the biggest loser of the COVID-19 pandemic on the women's tour. The lockdown was called just after her triumphant run in Doha in February, where she defeated the likes of Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari.

The Belarusian has so far had an inconsistent run amid the restart of the tennis season. After looking in good nick at Lexington, Sabaelnka lost in three sets to teenage sensation Coco Gauff in the quarterfinal. And at the Western & Southern Open last week, she bowed out to Jessica Pegula in the second round.

Despite her streaky form, Sabalenka should come into the US Open high on confidence, after her good early 2020 form. The fact that she has acclimatized herself to the American hardcourts over the last month should also help her cause.

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Sabalenka's opponent Oceane Dodin has herself struggled to regain the momentum she had created for herself before the lockdown. She had registered an ITF tournament win which was sandwiched between quarterfinal appearances in St. Petersburg and Lyon, and was looking good for more.

Since the resumption, the French player hasn't made it past the first round at either the Palermo Open or the Western & Southern Open. She also failed to qualify for the main draw in Prague, and has a 14-8 W/L record in 2020 so far.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Oceane Dodin head-to-head

The matchup in the first round at the US Open marks the first between Aryna Sabalenka and Oceane Dodin, so the head-to-head stands at 0-0.

Currently, Sabalenka is ranked 11th in the WTA rankings while Dodin is ranked 118th.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Oceane Dodin prediction

Aryna Sabalenka at the Qatar Total Open 2020
Aryna Sabalenka at the Qatar Total Open 2020

Given the enormous gulf in their ranking, Aryna Sabalenka comes into the match as the overwhelming favorite. The Belarusian looked in top form before the lockdown, and has shown signs of the same in Lexington and New York.

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Sabalenka's all-out attack, hard-hitting style of play is likely to prove too much for Oceane Dodin. The Frenchwoman is a player that herself likes to dictate the points by staying on top of the baseline and hitting the ball deep, but that will be extremely difficult to do against Sabalenka.

Dodin will look to attack Sabalenka's serve though, which has been wildly inconsistent since the tennis restart. The Belarusian's quick and unpredictable serve is normally an asset, but she has been broken 16 times in the last three matches alone - something that Dodin can try and build on.

Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in three sets.

Published 31 Aug 2020, 14:59 IST
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