Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open
WTA 500 FINAL: First 2021 WTA final will pit  Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) versus  Veronika Kudermetova (RUS). Kudermetova is vying for her first main tour singles title. She has numerous WTA 125K series titles to her name. Scoring a WTA 500 title against a top ten player will go a long way to boosting her confidence.
Head-To-Head Favors Sabalenka
In their only previous singles meeting, Sabalenka had her way. It was an easy straight-sets victory, but that was in 2015. Kudermetova has matured and is probably now better prepared to handle the power of the Belarusian. Interestingly, the Russian is a year older than her opponent; however, Sabalenka has had more success as reflected in her rankings.Embed from Getty Images
Road To Abu Dhabi Final
They were both tested in the quarterfinals, but the Russian defeated the number two seed, Elina Svitolina, to get to the semifinals. Svitolina is currently ranked fifth on the WTA Tour, so that was a nice victory for the Russian.
Kudermetova may be a little bit more fatigued than her opponent as she has been pushed to three sets in two matches and had to work hard today against a determined opponent.Embed from Getty Images
Aryna Sabalenka Looks Ready
Sabalenka’s new coach seems to be paying dividends already in the New Year. With the first major just around the corner, players are trying to find their games after a very erratic 2020 season due to coronavirus restrictions. No one is happy about the conditions. Nevertheless, it seems that the players are doing their best to follow the rules and are enjoying the opportunity to be back playing tennis.
Coronavirus Precautions Still In Effect
The world is very much still aware of the lurking threat of this virus. I commend the tournament directors who have been working overtime to make the 2021 season a reality.
ALL IMAGES: Getty Images/Francois Nel