WTA Finals 2021: Aryna Sabalenka vs Iga Swiatek preview, head-to-head & prediction

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 WTA Finals - Day 2
Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 WTA Finals - Day 2

Match details

Fixture: (1) Aryna Sabalenka vs (5) Iga Swiatek

Date: 13 November 2021

Tournament: Akron WTA Finals 2021

Round: Round robin (Group Chichén Itzá)

Venue: Guadalajara, Mexico

Category: Year-ending championships

Surface: Hardcourt

Prize money: $5,000,000

Match timing: 7:30 pm local time, 1:30 am GMT, 7 am IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Aryna Sabalenka vs Iga Swiatek preview

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 WTA Finals.
Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka will take on 2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek in the second round-robin tie of Group Chichén Itzá at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Sabalenka, making her singles debut at the event, started off well in her opening match against Paula Badosa and raced to a 4-2 lead. However, the Spaniard upped her level to ultimately outclass the top seed 6-4, 6-0.

In her post-match conference, Sabalenka attributed her loss to getting emotionally worked up after losing serve for the first time in the opening set. The Belarusian said she was simply unable to regroup after that.

She will, however, have to refocus ahead of her next match against Swiatek.

Sabalenka: "After I lost the serve [at 4-2], I was really disappointed in myself and emotionally I was, like, really crazy. I couldn't just stop myself and kind of put myself back in the match.”#AKRONWTAFinals
Iga Swiatek at the 2021 WTA Finals.
Iga Swiatek at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Iga Swiatek also had a rough debut at the WTA Finals. She was beaten in straight sets by Maria Sakkari, who recorded her third win of the year over the 20-year-old Pole. Swiatek was visibly upset following her defeat and was allowed to opt out of her in-person press-conference to deal with her emotions.

Swiatek stated that her inability to handle the stress of the situation was the major reason for her loss. Swiatek admitted that once she fell behind in the opening set, she had flashbacks of her previous losses to Sakkari and could not get her game back on track.

Like Sabalenka, she too will have to find a way to regroup if she is to keep her bid for the WTA Finals title alive.

Iga Swiatek says she felt a different level of stress today because she’s been playing well in practice. When I got broken in the first set, the vibe on court totally changed.” Started to have flashbacks of her last two matches vs. Sakkari and couldn’t refocus.#AKRONWTAFinals

Aryna Sabalenka vs Iga Swiatek head-to-head

This will be the first meeting between Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Iga Swiatek prediction

Iga Swiatek at the 2021 Ostrava Open.
Iga Swiatek at the 2021 Ostrava Open.

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek will both be looking to get back to winning ways after disappointing tournament openers.

Sabalenka is undoubtedly the more powerful of the two players. Her explosive groundstrokes and strong serve allow her to outmuscle opponents from the back of the court. But when her game is off, she can leak a tremendous number of unforced errors.

Swiatek is also an aggressive baseliner, but she plays with a lot more top-spin than the Belarusian. The Pole possesses a good serve and is a great mover around the court. She is also fairly accomplished at the net, thanks to her experience playing doubles.

Both players have the tendency to go off the rails emotionally when things do not go their way, and whichever player is able to stay composed for longer periods could come out on top in this contest.

Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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