US Open 2020: Ons Jabeur vs Kaia Kanepi preview, head-to-head & prediction

Ons Jabeur at the Western & Southern Open 2020
Ons Jabeur at the Western & Southern Open 2020
Namit Kumar

Match details

Fixture: Ons Jabeur vs Kaia Kanepi

Date: 3 September 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: Second round (Round of 64)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: 11 am EDT, 8.30 pm IST

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

Ons Jabeur vs Kaia Kanepi preview

Kaia Kanepi at the 2020 Australian Open
Kaia Kanepi at the 2020 Australian Open

World No. 31 Ons Jabeur takes on Kaia Kanepi in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.

The Tunisian comes into the second round on the back of a relatively comfortable straight-sets win over Katerzyna Kawa in the first round. Jabuer has been in solid form for much of 2020, reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and then in Doha before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Since the resumption of the tour, the 26-year-old has reached the quarters at both Lexington and the Western & Southern Open.

Jabueur faces World No. 100 Kaia Kanepi, who is no amateur on the WTA tour. The 35-year-old has been a mainstay at Grand Slam events over the last 15 years, and reached the quarterfinal of the US Open three years ago.

Kanepi is renowned to show up at big events, and she did just that in her first round sweep of Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-2 - which was her first match since the Australian Open in January.

Ons Jabeur vs Kaia Kanepi head-to-head

Ons Jabeur at Indian Wells 2015
Ons Jabeur at Indian Wells 2015

The match in New York is the second between the two players on tour. Ons Jabeur leads the head-to-head 1-0 against Kaia Kanepi, having won their only previous match at Indian Wells 2015.

Despite a first set challenge, Jabuer eventually ran past Kanepi 7-5 6-2 in that first-round match which lasted just under an hour and a half.

Ons Jabeur vs Kaia Kanepi prediction

Ons Jabeur at the Qatar Total Open 2020
Ons Jabeur at the Qatar Total Open 2020

Given her form this year and Kaia Kanepi's lack of match sharpness, Ons Jabeur comes into the match as the clear favorite. But the Estonian's hard-hitting game and ability to raise her level at big events have the potential to cause an upset.

Looking at her groundstrokes against Siniakova, no one would have been able to tell that Kanepi had not played tennis since January. She hammered a whopping 26 winners across just 15 games to take the match at a canter, with an 87% first serve success rate.

Jabeur on her part didn't have the most perfect serving performance against Kawa, giving up four breaks in all. That's something Kanepi will look to take advantage of and put pressure on, early in the match.

If the Tunisian maintains the steady form she has shown this year, she should be able to take control of the baseline through her movement and explosive forehand. That will likely be enough to overcome Kanepi, whose game can break down when drawn into long rallies.

Prediction: Ons Jabuer to win in three sets.

Edited by Musab Abid


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