5th seed Aryna Sabalenka faces 26th seed Elise Mertens in the third round of the 2023 Australian Open on Saturday.
The Belarusian star won the Adelaide International 1 before coming to the Australian Open. In the first round of the Australian Open, Sabalenka got the better of Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic in a one-sided encounter. The match ended in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
Sabalenka played America’s Shelby Rogers in the second round. The former world No. 2 defeated Rogers 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round. Sabalenka has been in sublime form and she is certainly one of the favorites to go the distance. However, she wouldn’t want to be overconfident at any stage.
The Belgian veteran came into the Australian Open on the back of a disastrous Hobart International campaign. She was ousted in the first round by compatriot Maryna Zanevska.
Mertens began her Australian Open campaign with a come-from-behind win against the Spanish veteran Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. In the second round, Mertens made light work of Lauren Davis, beating the American star in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
The head-to-head scoreline comfortably sits at 6-2 in favor of Sabalenka. The Belarusian won their most recent encounter at the 2021 US Open in straight sets.
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.
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