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Sabalenka vs Kasatkina French Open tennis live streaming, head-to-head and predictions

It’s power vs craft at the French Open as eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka faces the resurgent Daria Kasatkina for a place in the third round.

Sabalenka vs Kasatkina is live from Roland Garros on Wednesday 30 September, 1pm local/12pm BST

Aryna Sabalenka has never made it to the third round of the French Open – will this be the eighth seed’s year? She takes on Daria Kasatkina on Wednesday.

French Open 2020: Find out tournament information for Roland Garros 2020 and how to stream French Open matches live

Kasatkina is a former top-10 player who has been in a prolonged slump, but seems to be pulling out of it despite an unfortunate injury in Rome. Can the Russian signal her return to being a force at the top of the game by taking out Sabalenka to make the last 32?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Sabalenka vs Kasatkina: Head-to-head

Daria Kasatkina won the only previous clash between these two, defeating Sabalenka 6-4, 7-6(5) in Beijing last year.

This will be their first match on clay courts.

Sabalenka vs Kasatkina: Preview

It may not be getting show-court billing, but for me this second-round match between eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina, both former top-10 players, is one of the most intriguing on day five of the French Open.

Sabalenka, currently ranked world no. 12, is a lot closer to her career-high ranking of world no. 9 than Kasatkina is to hers of world no. 10. The Belarusian had her breakthrough run in the summer of 2018, putting together a stunning couple of months which saw her win her maiden title in New Haven and then go on to claim the Premier-5 Wuhan Open title; her breakthrough into the top 10 came a few months later after she won the Shenzhen Open in January 2019. But Sabalenka struggled to replicate her 2019 results over the summer and slipped back out of the top 10, although she didn’t go very far, successfully defending her Wuhan Open title and ending the season by winning her third title of the year in Zhuhai.

Currently 20-9 in 2020, Sabalenka had just won the Qatar Total Open in Doha when the shutdown came, and she wasn’t able to win back-to-back matches in the US when competition resumed. But she had a solid enough run to the semifinals of Strasbourg last week, losing to Elina Svitolina in three sets, before beating Jessica Pegula – who had beaten her in ‘Cincinnati’ – 6-3, 6-1 to open her French Open campaign.

Daria Kasatkina
(Photo credit: Sergei Vishnevskii/Kommersant/Sipa USA)

Kasatkina’s breakthrough was in 2018 too, when she made the finals of Dubai and Indian Wells and then the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon, picking up the title in Moscow by the end of the season. But she struggled badly to cope with the expectation, and had a nightmare 13-21 season in which she won back-to-back matches at just two events. As a result, she’s found herself often having to play qualifying in 2020, doing so successfully in Adelaide, Doha and Rome.

A semifinalist in Lyon right before shutdown, Kasatkina’s Rome run through qualifying and into the third round was the first time she’s won four matches in a row since winning the title in Moscow in 2018. Although the players she beat weren’t too impressive – the highest-ranked was Katerina Siniakova, world no. 61 – the tennis she played to beat Siniakova and against Victoria Azarenka in the last 16 was, right up until the point when at 6-6, Kasatkina went over on her ankle and had to retire.

Fortunately the injury was not as serious as it looked, and Kasatkina certainly seemed on song with a 6-2, 6-1 win over French wildcard Harmony Tan, who to be fair did not offer too much resistance. Sabalenka will be tougher; she has the power to hit through these courts, but is not the clay-courter Kasatkina is. I anticipate a tight win for Kasatkina.

Sabalenka vs Kasatkina: Prediction

An all-Belarusian battle pits fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka against two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka at the US Open for the second year in a row.

Sabalenka vs Azarenka is live from New York on Thursday 3 September, time TBC

Last year at the US Open, Aryna Sabalenka came from a set down to beat compatriot Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 – can Azarenka reverse the result as they meet again in 2020?

US Open 2020: Tournament information, schedules, latest news and live streaming information for the resilient Grand Slam in New York

Azarenka, twice a runner-up at the US Open, turned back the clock to her glory days when she won the Western & Southern Open title last week to enter the Grand Slam in red-hot form, while Sabalenka, despite having long supplanted Azarenka as Belarus’s top player, hasn’t been able to string wins together. Who will make the last 32 on Thursday?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

How to watch Sabalenka vs Azarenka live

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Sabalenka vs Azarenka: Head-to-head

Last year’s US Open first-round match was the only time these two have played. Sabalenka won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Sabalenka vs Azarenka: Preview

Aryna Sabalenka has only twice won back-to-back main-draw matches at Grand Slam level – in 2019, when she made the third round of the Australian Open, and the previous summer, when she knocked out Petra Kvitova to make the last 16 at the US Open, only to lose an extremely tight match to Naomi Osaka.

Sabalenka turned out to be the only player who would manage to take a set from the eventual champion at that year’s US Open, and expectations were high for the Belarusian after her brilliant breakthrough year. Backing it up, however, proved difficult, and while Sabalenka won titles in Shenzhen and Wuhan in 2019 she didn’t have any success at Grand Slam level – her win over Azarenka at the US Open was the best she would record, but she lost to Yulia Putintseva in the next round.

US Open Predictions and Betting Tips: Outright winner tips for men’s & women’s singles at the 2020 US Open

After reaching the semifinals in Adelaide in January, Sabalenka’s Australian Open campaign was over before it began when she lost to Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets in the first round, but it seemed like she had just found her feet in 2020 with the Qatar Total Open title when lockdown hit. Since the resumption, Sabalenka hasn’t managed to string two wins together: She went 2-2 in Lexington and ‘Cincinnati’, losing to Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in respective three-set battle. And she had to work hard to beat Oceane Dodin 7-6(1), 6-4 in the first round.

Victoria Azarenka is a two-time US Open finalist (PA Images)

Azarenka, on the other hand, couldn’t come into the US Open on more unexpectedly good form. The former world no. 1 has endured a trying couple of seasons, battling injury, struggling for wins and continuing to be derailed by circumstances in her personal life; to the point that she admitted she had considered retiring in January. Before the Western & Southern Open, Azarenka had played just two matches in 2020 and lost both in straight sets. But something clicked for her in ‘Cincinnati’, where she beat Donna Vekic, Caroline Garcia, Alize Cornet, Ons Jabeur and Johanna Konta (losing just one set in the process) to reach the final, where she claimed her second Western & Southern Open title seven years after the first when she received a walkover from Naomi Osaka.

American hard courts have always been a really strong surface for both Sabalenka and Azarenka; the latter played two memorable US Open finals against Serena Williams in 2012-13. The courts are faster this year, which in theory plays into the more explosive Sabalenka’s hands, but actually faster courts means less time to set up for your shots and might play into Azarenka’s hands: The world no. 59 gave a masterclass in how to smother a first-strike power player in these conditions when she beat Konta in three sets in ‘Cincinnati’. When these two faced off last year, it was Sabalenka’s consistent flat power which eventually got her the win, but Azarenka wasn’t playing, or especially serving, nearly as well at the time as she is now. It should go the distance again, but this time Azarenka will be the one who comes out on top.

Sabalenka vs Azarenka: Prediction

The match of the day at the Top Seed Open in Lexington on Wednesday sees world no. 11 Aryna Sabalenka facing off with 16-year-old superstar-in-waiting Coco Gauff for a place in the quarterfinals.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff | WTA Lexington R2 | 12/8/2020 7pm BST

Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff
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Gauff to win 13/8
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Sabalenka vs Gauff is live from Lexington on Wednesday 12 August at 2pm local/7pm BST

Top WTA stars are returning to action this week after the best part of six months out of competition, with top-20 players like world no. 11 Sabalenka highlighting Internationals in Prague and Lexington, Kentucky.

WTA Lexington: Tournament information, schedules and live streams for the Top Seed Open

The first WTA tournament to be played in the USA since March, the new Top Seed Open is headlined by the Williams sisters, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff – which of these stars will lead the way into the quarterfinals on Wednesday?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Sabalenka vs Gauff: Head-to-head

This is the first meeting between Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff.

Coco Gauff, at just 16, has a 2-3 record vs WTA top-20 players (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

Sabalenka vs Gauff: Preview

From famine to feast: After the best part of six months without any meaningful tennis, the inaugural Top Seed Open is providing popcorn matches a-plenty. The first WTA tournament to be played on US soil since early March, the Lexington event will see the Williams sisters face off on Thursday – but Sabalenka taking on Gauff is more than just a curtain-raiser for that superstar clash.

It was on American hard courts that Sabalenka truly ignited during her sensational 51-25 2018 season, with a semifinal showing in Cincinnati followed by claiming the New Haven title and reaching the last 16 of the US Open, where she was the only player to take a set from eventual champion Naomi Osaka. The Belarusian’s 39-22 2019 season was widely seen as a letdown in comparison, but she still picked up titles in Shenzhen, Wuhan and Zhuhai and finished runner-up in San Jose.

Sabalenka made a bright start to 2020, too, with a semifinal run in Adelaide followed by picking her sixth WTA career title in Doha in February. After six months off court, the world no. 11 extended her winning streak to six matches with a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 victory over Madison Brengle – a tenacious counterpuncher. Sabalenka made her life a little harder than it needed to be – she came back from 0-4 down in the second set and served for the match only to lose it in a tie-break – but the way she regrouped in the decider boded well.

WTA Lexington draw preview and predictions: Who will rule the bottom half of the draw?

How will the second seed cope with the challenge of Coco Gauff? Still just 16, Gauff did not play much during the lockdown (although her memorable and stirring speech during a Black Lives Matter protest attracted attention for all the right reasons) and was out of competition for even longer than most – she last played at the Australian Open in January, where she knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka before losing to eventual winner Sofia Kenin.

Up against compatriot Caroline Dolehide in the first round, Gauff did well to win 7-5, 7-5 given her lack of match practice and the fact that her opponent had the advantage of playing her way through qualifying, although it was a somewhat scrappy performance. Superb serving made the difference for the American teenager, and it could be the crucial factor when she faces Sabalenka, as well.

Gauff is 2-3 vs top-10 players and if you leave out her one-sided defeat to Osaka at the US Open last year, when Gauff was somewhat crippled by nerves, the players who have beaten her are cast in more of a counterpunching mould. In contrast, Gauff has excelled against Osaka, Venus Williams, Kiki Bertens – big servers and big hitters who rely on explosive power to end short points. Young as she is, Gauff has a more rounded game which, when married with her big serve, is a fairly lethal combination – and she can keep the tactics a lot simpler against these types of powerhouse players.

Sabalenka falls neatly into this mould, which inclines one to think that Gauff might well add another impressive scalp to her collection in Lexington on Wednesday – and lead the way into the quarterfinals.

Sabalenka vs Gauff: Prediction

Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff | WTA Lexington R2 | 12/8/2020 7pm BST

Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff
New Customers only. 18+. T&C`s Apply. begambleaware.org
Gauff to win 13/8
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Serena Williams returns to competition as the top seed for the new Lexington, Kentucky tournament, the first WTA Tour event to be held in the USA since March.

We break down the women’s singles draw, analyse the contenders and predict the semifinalists and champion as the Williams sisters and Aryna Sabalenka lead the field at the Top Seed Open.

WTA Lexington Preview

Officially known as the Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics, WTA Lexington is a new International-level event played for the first time in 2020. An outdoor hard-court tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, the Top Seed Open is the first WTA tournament to be played on hard courts or in the USA since the first week of March.

It has attracted an enviable field led by 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who is playing for the first time since early February as she warms up for the US Open. But Williams has more than ring-rust to contend with – the world no. 9 could face sister Venus or long-time rival Victoria Azarenka as early as the second round. Things aren’t easy for second seed Aryna Sabalenka either – the world no. 11 could run into Coco Gauff in the second round. And upsets are definitely to be expected, after five months out of competition during what would normally be the height of the season.

WTA Lexington: Tournament information, latest news, schedules and live streams to watch Top Seed Open matches

WTA Lexington Draw Analysis

Top Half

All eyes will be on the packed top quarter of the draw which contains both Williams sisters, Azarenka and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Serena, whose last match was a narrow defeat to Anastasija Sevastova during a Fed Cup tie in early February, opens against compatriot Bernarda Pera who has a 1-3 record vs top-10 players. If she wins that, she faces a fellow former world no. 1: Either Azarenka, who has only played one match in the last year, or more likely sister Venus in what would be their 30th clash. Serena leads the head-to-head with Venus 17-12 and has won four of their last five matches.

Stephens has played World Team Tennis during the shutdown and should therefore be less rusty than most, but was 1-5 in WTA matches in 2020. Powerful Shelby Rogers, who is currently ranked outside the top 100 but climbing fast after returning from a lengthy injury break in April 2019, could be the biggest threat to the seventh seed.

Another first-round clash to watch is the meeting of fourth seed Amanda Anisimova and Catherine Bellis. Anisimova, 18, won her first WTA title and made the French Open semifinals last year, and should be able to handle Bellis, a former teenage phenom just coming back from severe wrist and elbow injuries. Watch out though for the steady Jessica Pegula, Washington champion last year and Anisimova’s probable second-round opponent; and for Jil Teichmann, who won two WTA Tour titles in 2019 although is more of a clay-courter. It might be fifth seed Yulia Putintseva, a steely competitor who performs well on US hard courts, who comes through.

Predicted semifinal: Serena Williams vs Yulia Putintseva

Coco Gauff plays her first tournament since the Australian Open in Lexington this week (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

Bottom Half

Definitely lacking the star power of the top half, the lower half of the Top Seed Open draw nevertheless contains some top players and key names to watch ahead of the US Open.

World no. 11 Aryna Sabalenka comes in on a five-match winning streak, having claimed the Doha title in February, but the Belarusian powerhouse hasn’t been seen much during the shutdown – and she has a deceptively tricky first-round opponent in Madison Brengle. The American counterpuncher has a history of shock wins over error-prone power hitters like Sabalenka. The winner of that one faces Coco Gauff in the second round, playing for the first time since the Australian Open, so it might be too hard a road for Sabalenka.

Gauff in fact has a decent route to the semifinals, with the unpredictable eighth seed Ons Jabeur the other seed in that quarter. In the third quarter, both seeds – Magda Linette (6) and Johanna Konta (3) – look at risk of first-round upsets at the hands of Lauren Davis and Marie Bouzkova respectively, while powerful Jennifer Brady and Anna Blinkova lurk.

Predicted semifinal: Coco Gauff vs Jennifer Brady

WTA Lexington Prediction

Semifinals: Serena Williams d. Amanda Anisimvoa
Coco Gauff d. Jennifer Brady

Final: Serena Williams d. Coco Gauff