Abu Dhabi PHOTOS: Kasatkina opens 2021, Kontaveit & Vekic upset


The 2021 season has officially started! We have high hopes that this tennis year will be much better than last one. The first day of main-draw play at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open was packed with first-round matches and thanks to Jimmie48 we have everything covered in photos. I’ll do a recap of the day here and share some of my favorite pics.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia

Russian Daria Kasatkina won the first main-draw match played in 2021, rallying from a break down in the third set and wining the last six games to beat Chinese Wang Qiang 6-2 3-6 6-2.

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia

Shortly afterwards, we had the first seeded casualty of the season, as No.10 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia lost to Russian Veronika Kudermetova for the third time in their three career meetings, 7-5 6-1.

The 25-year-old Kontaveit rocked one of my favorite collections from the past season. So simple, stylish and timeless! Perfect for every season. Both the colorblocked Lacoste Fall Tank and the asymmetrical Fall Pleated Skirt are now discounted at Tennis Warehouse and if you purchase them through these links I will earn a small commission.

Veronika Kudermetova of Russia

Talking about fashion, Veronika Kudermetova is the only WTA player wearing Emporio Armani on the court.

Maria Sakkari of Greece

Ninth seed Maria Sakkari of Greece powered past Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova 6-4 6-2. Potapova had won their sole previous meeting, in qualifying at 2017 Miami. After today’s victory, Sakkari said that she worked a lot on her serve in the past nine months and is really pleased with the results.

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia

Ons Jabeur, the most successful Arab woman in WTA history, entered the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open on a career-high ranking of No.31. The 15th-seeded Jabeur saved two set points in the first set en route to a 7-6(3) 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia

Germany’s Laura Siegemund fell to Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 5-7 7-5 6-4.

Laura Siegemund of Germany

Australian Ajla Tomljanovic got past China’s Zhu Lin 6-2 7-6(0).

Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia

American world No.62 Bernarda Pera battled over three hours and came back from 1-4 down in the third set to upset 16th seed Donna Vekic 7-6(10) 2-6 6-4.

Bernarda Pera of the United States

Pera has Croatian heritage and trains in Zagreb.

Donna Vekic of Croatia

Later on Wednesday, Russian seed No.17 Ekaterina Alexandrova advanced to the second round with a 6-4 6-4 win over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Top 4 seeds Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka kick off their Abu Dhabi campaigns on Thursday.


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