WTA Abu Dhabi Preview: Zidansek vs Fernandez

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Whilst we still only have one completed match of form to work with (on top of 2020 form), I think there is value to be had in taking the Canadian today.

Leylah Fernandez is one of the young rising stars on the WTA scene. We saw her make her way into the Top 100 late last season, which is a huge step for her and her ability to accumulate points and wins at Grand Slam level. She looked solid in her first outing of the year, defeating Jasmine Paolini 6-4 6-2. She lost serve twice whilst only putting 47% of first serves in play, breaking the Italian 5 times and winning 52% of return points on Paolini’s first serve. A solid start to the year.

Tamara Zidansek caused one of the larger upsets of round 1, coming from 0-6 down to defeat Jennifer Brady 0-6 6-3 6-4 in just over two hours. Whilst she did a fantastic job of turning the tables on Brady to win a close one, her stat lines are perhaps a little unsustainable in some ways. She saved 74% of break points (14/18), which is her fifth best performance in terms of percentage for her entire career. To deliver that sort performance, which also included saving multiple break point chances in four of her last six services games, suggests a big overperformance compared to her average in a key statistical category, and one that may be hard to sustain.

Looking at their first round performances, there is notably a room for improvement in the first serve percentage of Fernandez and I have question marks over Zidansek’s ability to sustain that level on break points. When I add in the fact I have a higher opinion of Fernandez on hardcourt than Zidansek, and feel the Canadian will do a far better job of limiting unforced errors but remaining aggressive compared to the Brady effort we saw the other day. There was a temptation to increase the staking here a touch, however I will keep it at 1 unit.

Suggested Bet

1 unit Fernandez -3.5 games vs Zidansek at $1.88 / -114 at Topsport ($1.89 at Pinnacle)