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
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.
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.
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
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