Caroline Wozniacki vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai R1 Preview

?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview:
?? (10) Caroline Wozniacki vs ?? Daria Kasatkina

An exciting opening round clash in Dubai features last week’s Doha finalist Caroline Wozniacki up against the rising Daria Kasatkina, the first career meeting between the pair. Wozniacki will arrive in Dubai with winning form on her side after reaching the Doha final but will only have a few days to adjust to the conditions. Kasatkina also had a good week in Doha, defeating the top seeded Angelique Kerber on route to the final 8. This should be a great match between two in form players, expect to see a lot of long rallies in this one! 

Caroline Wozniacki is again pushing back towards a top 10 ranking, the former world number 1 is back up to 15 in the world on the back of a runner-up performance in Doha last week. Wozniacki claimed impressive straight set wins over the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska and Monica Puig amongst others before succumbing to a red-hot Karolina Pliskova in straight sets in the final.

Daria Kasatkina has made a good start to 2017, gaining a lot of vital experience against top opponents. Kasatkina has already beaten Angelique Kerber twice this year, beating the German for a second time in Doha last week before falling to Monica Puig in a very tight three set match. Kasatkina held points for a double break lead in the deciding set against Puig before losing the final four games. Kasatkina has currently got problems closing out big matches, something she will need to address.

It will be interesting to see how this match pans out, especially given it is the first meeting between the pair. Kasatkina has a lot of flare and huge forehand but she can be fragile mentally and I suspect Wozniacki will at some point break down the Russian. Wozniacki seems to be on good shape to push on from her great week on Doha, starting with a victory over Kasatkina. The Russian will struggle to consistently hit through the solid Dane, Wozniacki is likely to make the smarter decisions under pressure.

Prediction: (10) Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Daria Kasatkina in 2 sets

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