HomeTennisItalian Open 2024: Aryna Sabalenka vs Elina Svitolina; Preview, Head-to-Head, Prediction

Italian Open 2024: Aryna Sabalenka vs Elina Svitolina; Preview, Head-to-Head, Prediction

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It’s time for a high-voltage clash in the ‘Eternal City’! World number 2, Aryna Sabalenka takes on the former number 3, Elina Svitolina in the R16 of the 2024 Italian Open. Fans witnessed some epic drama in their last encounter in Paris. Will that vibe be carried forward to Rome as well? Sabalenka had to wait to have a handshake with Svitolina after the match. Will Elina Svitolina manage to make her wait to get a favorable outcome from this encounter in Rome?

What does this tournament mean to both the tennis stars? Aryna Sabalenka hasn’t won a title here yet but she has said the Italian Open is “the dream tournament” for her. She is now looking forward to fulfilling her dream of winning a title in this special venue. While on the other hand, Elina Svitolina has won this tournament twice in her career. Can she grab her third this time around? Well, the Ukrainian was seen struggling a bit in her previous matches with back pain. It’ll be interesting to see if she can overcome all the hurdles and make a deep run into this tournament.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elina Svitolina: Preview

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Aryna Sabalenka has got off to a stellar start this season and has already clinched her second major title at the 2024 AO. Apart from that, the 26-year-old Belarusian tennis superstar has also reached two finals and one quarterfinal in the rest of her tournaments this year. Even here in Rome, she has got off to a winning start, grabbing victories in her previous two matches. In her previous match, she defeated another Ukrainian, Dayana Yastremska by 6-4,6-2 to make way for the R16.

Sabalenka hit only a single ace throughout the match but committed three double faults against Yastremska. Her first-serve win percentage was 76% but her second-serve win percentage rose to a staggering 93%. However, she could manage to convert only three of her ten breakpoints in that match. Looking at her overall numbers for this season, Aryna Sabalenka has hit 137 aces and committed 87 double faults so far this year. She has won 78.7% of her service games and just 36.3% of her return games. Her numbers look quite decent, but it’s her determination and aggression in the matches that have played a pivotal rune in her dominating run this year.

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On the other hand, Elina Svitolina started her season on a high note by reaching the finals of the ASB Classic. But after that, she has failed to showcase the consistency in her game. However, in this tournament, she dominated her opponent completely in her previous two matches. In her previous match, she defeated Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya by a 6-3,6-3 margin in just one hour and thirteen minutes. She hit two aces and committed only a single double fault against Kalinskaya.

Elina Svitolina’s first serve win percentage was 78% and her second serve percentage was 47%. The Ukrainian tennis star converted four out of her nine breakpoints against the Russian. She has hit a total of fifty-four aces this season and committed twenty-nine double faults so far. Svitolina has won 68% of her service games, but the percentage dropped to 38.3% in her return games. Can she improve her numbers with an incredible performance against the in-form Aryna Sabalenka?

Sabalenka vs Svitolina: Head-to-Head

They’re both predators on the court and will be entering this contest after having a lovely feast on Sunday! But if we look at their H2H record, Aryna Sabalenka currently leads it by a 2-1 margin. This shows us how close this contest is going to be on Monday. They had first met each other in 2018 at a tournament in Wuhan. That time, it took Sabalenka three sets to defeat the Ukrainian challenger. However, two years later, Elina Svitolina made a comeback in their next meeting at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. She took her revenge over the mighty Belarusian by defeating her by a three-set-thriller.

However, the biggest of them all was their faceoff at the QF of the 2023 French Open. In that match, Aryna Sabalenka again clinched a victory against Elina Svitolina. But this time it took her two sets to decide the ultimate winner. The scoreline was 6-4,6-4 in favor of the Belarusian. Sabalenka hit only a single ace throughout the match and committed three double faults. While Elina Svitolina managed to hit three aces and made four double faults in the entire match.

Both of them were leveled at their win percentage on the first serve. However, it was Sabalenka who had the edge by a fair margin in the win percentage on the second serve. Elina Svitolina successfully converted her single breakpoint in that match, but Sabalenka managed to convert only three of her nine breakpoints. But who has the edge in their next meeting?

Prediction: Sabalenka will have the last laugh in this exciting contest

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Both of them are already proven on this surface. Talking about their records considering the biggest stage of the clay court surfaces, Aryna Sabalenka reached the SF of the French Open last year. Elina Svitolina has reached the QFs of the French Open four times in her career. So, they’re quite comfortable playing on the dirt. Now looking at their form in this season, Sabalenka has a win-loss record of 20-6 compared to just 12-8 by Svitolina.

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It will be more of  Aryna Sabalenka’s aggressive style of play versus Elina Svitolina’s defensive baseline game. Sabalenka relies on her powerful serves and groundstrokes to outclass the opponent. She often accumulates a high number of winners and unforced errors.

So, bringing a check to her errors will be the key to success for her in this match. While Svitolina needs to capitalize on the tiniest of chances and must be swift in her transition from defensive to offensive game. Looking at the number and current form, Aryna Sabalenka looks to be slightly ahead in this match. But if Svitolina is fully fit, then she can really prove to be a hard nut to crack on Monday!

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