Fixture: Ana Bogdan vs Kamilla Rakhimova
Date: 31 January 2021
Tournament: Yarra Valley Classic 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Approx. 12 pm local time, 6.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Ana Bogdan vs Kamilla Rakhimova preview
Ana Bogdan will start her new season with a first-round match against Kamilla Rakhimova at the newly minted Yarra Valley Classic which is set to be played at Melbourne Park.
Bogdan has been struggling with a recurrent elbow injury ever since her breakout season in 2018. The former top 60 player will be looking to play a full injury-free season, and a strong start here in Melbourne will be really good for her confidence.
Rakhimova on the other hand made her WTA main draw debut at the Baltic Open in 2019, and has registered steady progress on the senior tour since. The 19-year-old Russian won her first Grand Slam main draw match at last year's French Open, and has travelled to Melbourne as part of the entourage of 12 lucky losers from Dubai earlier this month.
Rakhimova is a strong hardcourt player, with potent groundstrokes off both wings. She also has a total of five ITF titles on the surface to her credit, which could give Bogdan a lot to think about.
Ana Bogdan vs Kamilla Rakhimova head-to-head
This will be the first time that the Ana Bogdan and Kamilla Rakhimova will cross paths on the senior tour, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Ana Bogdan vs Kamilla Rakhimova prediction
This will be a crucial match for Ana Bogdan, who showed signs of revival during the few matches she played in the 2020 season.
The Romanian had her first big breakthrough at the Australian Open in 2018, when she reached the third round. She enjoys playing in these conditions and can trouble even the best of the tour with her well-rounded game.
Bogdan will need to be careful about not giving away too much of the initiative to Kamilla Rakhimova, who also enjoys taking control of rallies. But if she is fully fit, the Romanian should have enough in the tank to come through this one.
Prediction: Ana Bogdan to win in three sets.