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US Open 2020: Elena Rybakina vs Katarina Zavatska preview, head-to-head & prediction

Elena Rybakina will play Katarina Zavatska in the first round of the US Open
Elena Rybakina will play Katarina Zavatska in the first round of the US Open
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 30 Aug 2020, 17:56 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Elena Rybakina vs Katarina Zavatska

Date: 31 August 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: Not before 7 pm EDT, 4:30 am IST

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

Elena Rybakina vs Katarina Zavatska preview

Kazakhstan's rising star Elena Rybakina takes on unseeded Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska as she begins her campaign at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

11th seed Rybakina rose to prominence last year when she won her maiden WTA title in Bucharest, aged 20 which helped her break into the world's Top 50 .

She has carried that momentum into 2020, reaching four finals, including two at WTA Premier tournaments in St. Petersburg and Dubai.

Although she managed to win only one out of the four finals -- in Hobart -- she remains among the best players on tour this year and was fifth on the Race to Shenzhen Leaderboard before it was voided and the WTA Finals scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elena Rybakina has had a splendid start to the year
Elena Rybakina has had a splendid start to the year

Katarina Zavatska is also a promising young player who has made a lot of noise on the ITF circuit, where she has won six singles titles. However, the Ukrainian, who turned 20 earlier this year, is yet to make a name for herself on the WTA Tour, with Monday's clash against the hard-hitting Rybakina the first time she takes the court in a main draw match at a Grand Slam.

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Zavatska is ranked 107 in the world and she will hope to pick up a couple of wins at Flushing Meadows to propel her into the Top 100.

Elena Rybakina vs Katarina Zavatska head-to-head

Katarina Zavatska will make her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam
Katarina Zavatska will make her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam

Elena Rybakina and Katarina Zavatska have met only once before in their fledgling careers, on the claycourts of Brescia in 2018, with the Kazakh coming out on top. Rybakina had little trouble fending off her Ukrainian opponent as she cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Elena Rybakina vs Katarina Zavatska prediction

Elena Rybakina was on a tear before the season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, having won 21 of 24 matches. The extended break clearly disrupted her momentum as she lost her first match back, at the Western & Southern Open to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

At 1.84 meters tall, Rybakina has one of the most effective serves on the women's circuit and leads the WTA tour with 146 aces to date. The 21-year-old employs an aggressive baseline game and has the ability to generate effortless power off both wings, making her an extremely dangerous proposition.

However, Zavatska also possesses a potent forehand and she will hope to put that to good use to counter Rybakina's relentless aggression. This promises to be a mouthwatering clash between two stars of the future, with Rybakina's form and firepower giving her the edge.

Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in three sets.

Published 30 Aug 2020, 17:53 IST
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