WTA Elite Trophy, Group Stage: ?? (3) Aryna Sabalenka vs. ?? (9) Ashleigh Barty
Aryna Sabalenka and Ashleigh Barty kick-start the 2018 Elite Trophy Zhuhai in what should be an entertaining clash. This has proven to be a tight match-up in the two previous matches between the pair in 2018. This match-up features an interesting contrast in styles, the aggressive, powerful game of Sabalenka against the versatility and class of Barty.
I’m going to give the slight edge to Sabalenka here. Sabalenka’s powerful game has proven to be troublesome for Barty in both of their previous matches. Sabalenka’s return of serve puts pressure on Barty like not many can. Barty’s second serve is especially vulnerable in this match-up and Sabalenka’s power makes it tough for Barty to play with touch and move up the court. Barty is more comfortable when she is in control but that is not the case in this match-up.