Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens: Mutua Madrid Open 2021 Prediction | Preview | H2H Analysis

It is a mouthwatering match-up in the WTA as 5th seed Aryna Sabalenka takes on the 13th seed Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open 2021.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens: Madrid Open Preview

Aryna Sabelenka thrashed the American Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-2 in just 52 minutes in a one-sided encounter in the pre-quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. 

The Belarusian's power-hitting stood out as she clinched 85.7% of her first serve, converted 4 out of 5 breakpoints, fired 8 aces, and also pounded 25 winners. 

On the other hand, Elise Mertens emerged victorious in a titanic tussle (2 hours and 34 minutes) against the 3rd seed Simona Halep in the round of 16 of the Madrid Open. It was her first win against the Romanian on the red dirt and the sixth victory of her career against a top-5 ranked player. 

Simona Halep, considered as one of the favorites for the title crashed out of the Madrid Open before the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.

The Belgian who was trailing 6-4 registered a memorable come-from-behind triumph winning the second and third sets 7-5 each. Despite serving 9 double faults, Elise Mertens managed to control the match by grabbing 68.3% of points on her first serve.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens: Head to Head Record

  • Sabalenka leads the head-to-head record 4-2 against Mertens. 
  • The Belgian beat Sabalenka 7-5 6-2 in their only match on clay in the WTA - Lugano Open Finals in 2018. Sabalenka's last defeat to Mertens was in the pre-quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in 2018. 
  • Interestingly, Sabalenka and Mertens are doubles partners on the WTA Tour and won the Australian Open in February this year.
Aryna Sabalenka Elise Mertens Doubles
From doubles partners to opponents: Mertens will have to come up with an inspired showing against Sabalenka who is a proven baseline basher. Image Credits - Getty Images

A.Sabalenka vs E.Mertens: Madrid Open Game Analysis

Sabalenka would be much fresher compared to Mertens for the Madrid Open quarterfinal encounter as the former spend just an hour on the court against Pegula in the round of 16. The Belarusian would be soaring with confidence having not lost a set yet in this WTA-1000 tournament.

Mertens made a captivating comeback against clay-court specialist Halep. Despite trailing by a break each in the second and third sets, the Belgian displayed a great level of grit and tenaciousness. 

Sabalenka would fancy her chanced if she wins more than 80% of points on her first serve like her previous two matches. The Belarusian can trouble Mertens if she finds her rhythm with her fabulous forehand.

It would take a marathon effort from Mertens to beat two higher-ranked players in a row. The Belgian can pressurize Aryna Sabalenka with her deep returns and the down-the-line backhand. She needs to tighten her second serve having won only 34.3% of points on it in the pre-quarters against Simona Halep.

Nerves would be there for both Sabalenka and Mertens as they are playing in the quarterfinals in the Madrid Open for the first time in their respective careers.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elise Mertens
Friendship will be put aside in the Madrid Open as Mertens will look for a strong start to dislodge the power hitting of the scintillating Sabalenka. Image Credits - First Sportz

Aryna Sabalenka's free-swinging shotmaking gives her an edge against Elise Mertens. Her big-serves powered by her lightning-fast racquet speed can fire like missiles when she gets going in full flow. 

Being doubles partners, Sabalenka would have full knowledge of the counterpunching game of Mertens. 

However, Sabalenka is expected to have the last laugh with her better all-round game suiting the fast conditions.

Prediction - Aryna Sabalenka to win in three sets against Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open 2021.

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images

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