?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview
?? Ekaterina Makarova vs ?? Anastasija Sevastova
One of the many interesting opening round matches in Dubai sees Ekaterina Makarova take on Anastasija Sevastova. Makarova and Sevastova both arrive in Dubai fresh off defeats to Simona Halep last week in Doha, Makarova was eliminated in the second round whilst Sevastova was beaten in the third round. This has generally been a successful match-up for Makarova, the Russian has won the two previous matches between the pair, can she maintain her perfect record over the Latvian?
It has been a very inconsistent start to the year for Makarova. The Russian arrives in Dubai having not won back-to-back matches at any stage in 2018. Makarova has shown glimpses of her best but not often enough or in important moments. Makarova was eliminated in the second round in Doha last week, beaten in straight sets by Simona Halep after she beat Shuai Zhang in the opening round.
Anastasija Sevastova’s recent form has been typically consistent. It has been a long few weeks for Sevastova. The 27-year-old helped guide Latvia into the world group 2 playoffs before reaching the third round stage in Doha last week. Sevastova claimed straight set wins over Donna Vekic and Naomi Osaka before succumbing to Simona Halep in straight sets. Sevastova will head into this first round match in Dubai with Makarova determined to turn around her recent troubles against the Russian.
Makarova has won both of the previous matches between the pair, both in straight sets, both on a hard court. A 6-4 6-2 win in Wuhan last year and a 6-3 6-2 win in New Haven in 2016.