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Sabalenka vs Lepchenko WTA Quebec City Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: In-form Sabalenka takes on Lepchenko in Quebec City opener

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 11 Sep 2018

  • Sabalenka won their only previous meeting at Indian Wells
Aryna Sabalenka. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Top seed, Aryna Sabalenka opens her Quebec City campaign on Tuesday night when she takes on American, Varvara Lepchenko in the first round. 

Sabalenka is looking to continue a superb run of form in North America, during which she has amassed a 17-3, winning her first career title in New Haven, and compiling a brilliant semi-final run in Cincinnati. She also got to the Round of 16 in Montreal and at the US Open, her best Grand Slam performance. 

Prior to the 2018 US Open, Sabalenka had only ever won one Grand Slam match- at Wimbledon in 2017- but she pulled off three brilliant wins at Flushing Meadows, against Danielle Collins, Vera Zvonareva, and most impressively, Petra Kvitova to reach the fourth round. She was eventually taken down by Naomi Osaka.

The 20-year-old has broken into the top-20 on the back of her superb form, jumping 53 spots from her position at the start of the year. Sabalenka initially made her mark in the Fed Cup, playing a starring role in Belarus's run to the 2017 final, and it was towards the end of 2017 that she really began to impact the WTA Tour. She reach her first semi-final in Tashkent and, and a few weeks later, contested her first final in Tianjin, where she was beaten in two tight sets by Maria Sharapova. All these contributed into taking her into the top 100.
Sabalenka had a steady start to the 2018 season, reaching quarter finals in Shenzhen and Hobart, while she made finals in Lugano and Eastbourne, before producing her North American surge. 

Can she keep it up in Quebec City, where she opens against American left-hander, Lepchenko? 

Varvara Lepchenko. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Lepchenko possesses a career-high ranking of 19th, attained in September 2012- she maintained a top 100 ranking for almost six years unbroken, before she dropped out of the bracket in July 2018.

The American, who was caught up in a doping controversy in 2016 when she was initially found guilty of taking the banned substance, Meldonium, but subsequently acquitted, has had a disappointing year, managing a mere 7-12 record for the season.  She is yet to win consecutive matches all season, and recently failed to qualify for the main draw of the US Open, having previously made the fourth round in 2015, and the three-time third round on three other occasions. Her absence from the 2018 tournament marked the first time she would be missing the main draw of a Grand Slam since she failed to qualify for the 2010 US Open.

The world number 110 did pick up a couple of wins in her most recent tournament, beating Katie Boulter and Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Oracle Challenger Series in Chicago, before losing to Petra Martic in two tight sets in the quarter finals. 

Lepchenko takes on Sabalenka for the second time on Tuesday, with the Belarusian winning their only previous match 7-5 6-1 at Indian Wells. 

The rising Sabalenka is playing even better now than she was then, and should move into the second round in Quebec City on Tuesday. 

Aryna Sabalenka vs Varvara Lepchenko is live from Quebec City on Tuesday, 11 September from 7:00pm local time/ 12:00am BST (Wednesday morning)

*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify

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Sabalenka vs Lepchenko WTA Quebec City Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: In-form Sabalenka takes on Lepchenko in Quebec City opener

Aryna Sabalenka looks to keep up her excellent form when she takes on Varvara Lepchenko in the first round in Quebec City. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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