WTA Abu Dhabi Preview: Rybakina vs Wang

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Whilst Elena Rybakina is a player that I will no doubt be supporting in a handful of outright fields across the course of the year, she looks to be too short in the market today against an up-and-coming talent in Wang Xiyu.

Those who have been following for a while will know I think Wang is incredibly talented for her age. At 19 years of age, she is now on the cusp of breaking into the Top 100, however her good form was impacted a touch by the tour suspension. Her aggressive style is well suited to the faster hardcourts here in Abu Dhabi, and her style may have the potential to cause some grief for Rybakina so early in the season.

Current odds suggest Wang has a 19.6% chance of victory here, which to me is low. Her combination of having a large power game as a left hander is a great advantage for her, especially on serve. Wang will be able to use her serve to angle into the body of Rybakina on the forehand side, and move it away from Rybakina on the backhand side. It will be an aggressive slugfest, and I don’t anticipate a significant number of long gruelling rallies in this one.

After she burst onto the tour in impressive fashion, the value in her prices in a number of head to head matches has since been lacking. Rybakina did underperform in the back end of 2020 when the tour resumed, and to be backing her at sub $1.20 (-500) I would have preferred to see improved performances since the tour resumed.

Personally, I am seeing more value in the head to head price on Wang, especially coming off her round 1 upset of Arantxa Rus, who served well, looked solid, and actually defeated Wang 6-1 6-3 last month. If you simulate this match out 100 times, you’d come out ahead taking the head to head price over the +5 game handicap.

Suggested Bet

1 unit Wang to defeat Rybakina at $5.10 at Unibet/Topsport/Betfair