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Sabalenka vs Linette WTA Tianjin live streaming, preview and tips - WTA Finals hopeful Sabalenka seeks return to Tianjin Open quarter-finals

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 9 Oct 2018
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs Magda Linette is live from Tianjin around 2.30pm local time on Wednesday (7.30am BST)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Aryna Sabalenka (Photo by Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images)

Aryna Sabalenka continues her quest for a third WTA title of 2018 when she takes on Magda Linette in the second round of the Tianjin Open on Wednesday.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Still in with an outside shot of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, the rising Aryna Sabalenka targets a place in the Tianjin Open quarter-finals against Poland’s Magda Linette on Wednesday.

Incredibly, this time last year Sabalenka was ranked outside the top 100 and still waiting for that breakout result that would propel her into that bracket of players and earn her direct entry into Grand Slams. That result would come at the Tianjin Open, with Sabalenka reaching her first WTA final before going down to Maria Sharapova in two tight sets and rising to No. 76 in the world. Sabalenka would end 2017 as the World No. 96, but she’s taken her game to new, meteoric heights throughout 2018, arriving back in Tianjin as the World No. 11 and one of the best player’s on tour at the moment.

Currently 49-23 for the season, Sabalenka also finished runner-up to Elise Mertens in Lugano in April and Caroline Wozniacki in Eastbourne just before Wimbledon, but it was over the North American summer where she really took her game to the next level, avenging her Eastbourne defeat to Wozniacki by beating the Dane on her way to the Rogers Cup Round of 16, while she beat the likes of Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Garcia and Madison Keys to reach the Western & Southern Open semi-finals in Cincinnati before winning her maiden WTA title in New Haven.

Sabalenka was the only player to take a set off Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open in the third round, while she continued her spectacular form into Asia, securing her second career title at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, beating Elina Svitolina, Dominika Cibulkova and Anett Kontaveit, before conquering Garbine Muguruza and defending champion Caroline Garcia to make the China Open quarter-finals last week, with her eight-match winning streak eventually snapped by homegrown star Wang Qiang.

The 20-year-old is in 10th spot in the Porsche Race to Singapore for the WTA Finals and needs to win the title this week in Tianjin and hope Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens fall relatively early in Hong Kong and Linz respectively. Sabalenka got her campaign off to a winning start by beating young American Sofia Kenin 7-6(4) 4-6 6-0 - can she continue her sparkling form by returning to the Tianjin quarter-finals on Wednesday?

Magda Linette (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Magda Linette first broke into the top 100 during the 2015 season, the same year she reached her one and only tour-level final at the Japan Women’s Open. Linette has largely fluctuated between the 60-100 mark ever since, with her game too good for the ITF circuit but not flashy enough to enter the upper echelons of women’s tennis, with the Pole’s best ranking of No. 55 coming at the start of the 2018 season when she reached the third round of the Australian Open - beating No. 22 seed Daria Kasatkina - while she also made the quarter-finals of Taipei City later in January, falling to eventual champion Timea Babos.


Linette finished inside the top 100 for the third consecutive season in 2017 as she made the semi-finals of Kuala Lumpur and quarter-finals in Bogota, while she also advanced to the third round of Roland Garros, and although she’s down to a current ranking of No. 84 in Tianjin this week, the 26-year-old is on course to make it four straight top 100 finishes in 2018. Linette’s best result this season was a runner-up finish in Bol, while she also reached the semi-finals in Nanchang and quarter-finals in Bogota, Washington D.C. and Hiroshima. However, Linette hasn’t been great during the Asian swing, failing to qualify for Tokyo, Wuhan and Beijing before posting a three-set win over Evgeniya Rodina in the first round of Tianjin on Tuesday.

Sabalenka and Linette have never played before, but considering the Belarusian’s current form and what she has to play for, you’d expect the former to emerge triumphant. Fatigue could soon become a factor for Sabalenka - she’s rarely played so much consecutive tennis and made it deep into tournaments in successive weeks, but she finished with a flourish against Kenin and isn’t really showing any signs of slowing down. Sabalenka’s game will always be tested by players such as Linette, who has great movement, but if the 20-year-old is executing her power game from the baseline, the Pole won’t be able to do much to stop her.


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Sabalenka vs Linette WTA Tianjin live streaming, preview and tips - WTA Finals hopeful Sabalenka seeks return to Tianjin Open quarter-finals

Aryna Sabalenka continues her quest for a third WTA title of 2018 when she takes on Magda Linette in the second round of the Tianjin Open on Wednesday.

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