Abu Dhabi Open 2023: Anett Kontaveit vs Zhang Shuai – Preview, Head-to-Head, and Prediction

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7th seed Anett Kontaveit will take on the Chinese veteran Zhang Shuai in the round of 32 of the Abu Dhabi Open on Monday.

Anett Kontaveit 2
Anett Kontaveit

Anett Kontaveit

The former world No. 2 has had quite an ordinary start to 2023. She has played in three tournaments and managed one win and three losses.

In the Adelaide International 1, she lost to the No. 2 Chinese player Qinwen Zheng in the first round. The Adelaide International 2 saw the Estonian star lose to 9th seed Paula Badosa in the round of 32. Kontaveit’s first win of the season came against Julia Grabher in the first round of the Australian Open. However, her run ended in the following round with a loss to eventual semifinalist Magda Linette. Kontaveit won the first set but the Polish veteran bounced back strongly to progress to the following round.

Zhang Shuai

The 34-year-old has also not had the best of starts to the season. She crashed out of the Adelaide International 1 after losing to Liudmila Samsonova. In the Adelaide International 2, the two-time Grand Slam doubles champion lost to Ana Bogdan in the first round of qualifying.

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Zhang Shuai (Image Credit – WTA – Twitter)

Shuai played had a decent campaign in the Australian Open as the 23rd seed made it to the fourth round with wins against Patricia Maria Tig, Petra Martic, and Katie Volynets. In the fourth round, Shuai lost to 30th seed Karolina Pliskova in a lopsided encounter.

Head-to-Head and Prediction

Anett Kontaveit has a slender 3-2 lead in the head-to-head scoreline against Zhang Shuai. The Chinese star won defeated Kontaveit in their most recent encounter in the round of 16 of the 2022 Western & Southern Open.

Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to win in straight sets.

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