Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens: Linz Open Finals Prediction
Top seed Aryna Sabalenka sets up an exciting clash against second seed Elise Mertens in the finals of the Linz Open
- Aryna Sabalenka leads the head to head record 3-2 against Mertens.
- The Belarusian is targetting her eighth career WTA singles title.
- Elise Mertens is aiming for a sixth career title and first of the season.
- Both players play doubles together on the WTA Tour.
- Sabalenka is on an eight-match winning streak.
- If the Belarusian, Sabalenka wins tonight, it will be her third title of 2020 after winning in Doha and Ostrava earlier in the season. This will tie her with Simona Halep who has also won three titles this year.
- Mertens has a 34-12 win-loss record this year with 23 victories in the last three months.
- The Belgian will be playing her second final of the season after finishing as the runner-up in the Prague Open.
- Sabalenka has smashed 35 aces in four matches in this tournament.
- Sabalenka will end the year inside the top 10 of the rankings for the first time overtaking Serena Williams.
- Mertens has won five of the seven finals she has played in her career.
World number 11 battled past World number 74, Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the semifinals.
Though her breakpoint conversion was poor at 26.67%, her second serve was strong at 80%.
Mertens did not have it easy either as she outlasted the fourth seed and 2018 runner-up, Ekaterina Alexandrova 2-6 6-1 7-5.
Despite committing 10 double faults and having a sub-par second serve percentage of 35%, the Belgian converted six of her seven break points to sail through.
It wasn't an easy match for me, she played really well. I didn't play my best, but I tried my best, so I'm happy I could handle this game and win it," said Sabalenka sounding relieved after her semifinal triumph.
Sabalenka will depend on her big serve, hard-hitting, and strong baseline game to do the job. Mertens has been one of the consistent performers on the tour and has a good return game along with being an aggressive counterpuncher.
The 'Tiger' starts as a slight favorite as she has dropped only set this week and has spent two hours less on the court than Mertens. The Belgian can take the match down to the wire if her serve stands strong and if she commits less double faults.
Prediction - Aryna Sabalenka to win in three sets
Featured Image Credits - Getty Images