?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview
?? Elina Vesnina vs ?? Shuai Peng
Elina Vesnina and Shuai Peng will go head-to-head in a critical opening round match at the Dubai Duty Free Championships on Monday. Vesnina and Peng will open proceedings on the Centre Court for the 2018 tournament, both head into this match desperate for victory. Vesnina has won just 2 matches in 2018 whilst Peng is yet to win a match this year. Clearly, both are in need of a victory and will want to avoid another first round loss.
Elena Vesnina is coming to a critical stage of the year for her. Vesnina’s ranking does not reflect her current struggles but that will soon change if she can’t quickly reverse her form. The majority of Vesnina’s points will need to be defended in a few weeks’ time in Indian Wells after the Russian won the biggest tile of her career at the event last year. Vesnina would love to gain some momentum this week in Dubai before heading to Indian Wells, Vesnina has been thrashed in the opening round in her last two events, including a loss to Anna Blinkova in Doha last week.
Shuai Peng is yet to throw a punch in 2018. Peng has suffered 3 consecutive opening round losses to start the year, all in straight sets. Last week Peng was eliminated in the opening round in Doha, beaten by Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-4. Peng will bring some confidence into this match given her good record over Vesnina.
Peng holds a 6-4 head-to-head record over Vesnina. Peng has won the last two matches between the pair and holds a 4-1 record over Vesnina on hard courts.