2021 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Final Preview: Barty vs. Sabalenka
Both players experienced quite similar journey, however, Sabalenka needed to play one more match since the only top-four seeded players got bye in the first round, and Sabalenka was no. 5. On her way to the final, the Belorussian defeated Zhang, Friedsam, Kontaveit and Halep.
Her final opponent defeated Siegemund, Pliskova and Svitolina to set up 7th meeting with Sabalenka. They never played on clay but they both won 3 matches out of the 6 played. All of the matches that were won by Sabalenka were played in China while the players never met in Europe.
2021 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Schedule of Play:
Sunday, March 25th:
14:00 Barty A. (Aus) - Sabalenka A. (Blr)
Saturday, March 24th:
In the semifinals of the 2021 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, we'll see one of the strongest semifinal line-ups in the past months. In the first match world number 1, Ashleigh Barty will play against the 5th player in the WTA Rankings, Elina Svitolina. Then, we'll see no. 3 Simona Halep who will take on no. 7 Aryna Sabalenka.
With the 4 of the top 7 players in the semifinals, every fan needs to look forward to interesting matches from Stuttgart. In the first match, Ashleigh Barty and Elina Svitolina will meet already 8th time. The Ukrainian won the first 5 matches, however, the last 2 matches were won in straight sets by Barty. They have never met on clay, and none of their last 5 matches was played in Europe and so the conditions will be much different this time.
Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep also met quite a lot of times. The Romanian won 3 out of 4 meetings, and similarly to the first semifinal match, they have never met in Europe. They played in North America, Australia and Asia, but never in Europe and never on clay. Halep is still to lose a set in Stuttgart and as she lost only 1 match on clay in 2020, she is a favorite in Stuttgart.
15:30 Barty A. (Aus) - Svitolina E. (Ukr)
Friday, March 23rd:
Quarterfinal matches will get underway in Stuttgart on Friday. The 2021 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix quarterfinal schedule is filled with the highest-seeded players as we'll see 6 out of top 7 seeded in Stuttgart. The first-seeded Ashleigh Barty will start the day against no. 6 Karolina Pliskova.
Then, another Czech player, Petra Kvitova will play against Elina Svitolina as the winner of the match will meet the winner of the first match. The second potential semifinal matchup will come from another two interesting quarterfinal matches.
First, Ekaterina Alexandrova will try to stop Simona Halep who is the strongest on the clay. In the last match of the day, Aryna Sabalenka will take on Anett Kontaveit as the Belorussian will try to add her 4th victory against Kontaveit.
14:00 Barty A. (Aus) - Pliskova Ka. (Cze)
Thursday, March 22nd:
On Thursday, we'll see another five very interesting matches from Stuttgart. It will all start with a match between Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko as the winner will meet Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals. Then, Aryna Sabalenka will meet Anna-Lena Friedsam and the better from this match will take on Anett Kontaveit who defeated the third-seeded Sofia Kenin yesterday.
In the evening matches, Simona Halep will play her first match on clay this year as she will meet Marketa Vondrousova. The winner of the match will get to know the opponent for the quarterfinals in the last match of the day as Belina Bencic will take on Ekaterina Alexandrova. Before that, Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber will try to set up a quarterfinal clash with Petra Kvitova.
11:30 Ostapenko J. (Lat) - Pliskova Ka. (Cze)
Wednesday, March 21st:
Although there will be only 7 matches in Stuttgart on Wednesday, fans can look forward to a very solid schedule of play. It will start with Karolina Pliskova against Tamara Korpatsch and they will be followed by Jelena Ostapenko who will take on Stefanie Voegele.
Later, all-Czech duel between Marie Bouzkova and Marketa Vondrousova will take place in Stuttgart as the biggest starts will come to the court after that. First, Anett Kontaveit will play against Sofia Kenin. Then, Ashleigh Barty will take on Laura Siegemund and in the last match of the day, we'll see Maria Sakkari against Laura Siegemund.
11:30 Korpatsch T. (Ger) - Pliskova Ka. (Cze)
Tuesday, March 20th:
The event gets properly underway on Tuesday with 6 strong matches headlined by defending champion Petra Kvitova. Play will start at 11:30 CET with a great matchup between Alexandrova and Muchova. A bit later we will see 2019 finalist Kontaveit take on native Middendorf.
Another all-German clash will happen later in the day when Barthel takes on Friedsam. That match will start at 17:00 CET. The final two matches will feature the two biggest names of the day playing. At 18:30 Australian Open finalist Brady will take on defending champion Kvitova.
A brutal draw for both of them as it should be a great match. The final match of the day will be between Sabalenka and Zhang and it is set to start at 20:00 CET. Check out the full schedule below.
11:30 Alexandrova E. (Rus) - Muchova K. (Cze)
13:00 Middendorf J. (Ger) - Kontaveit A. (Est)
15:30 Eikeri U. (Nor) - Friedsam A-L. (Ger)
17:00 Siegemund L. (Ger) - Barthel M. (Ger)
18:30 Brady J. (Usa) - Kvitova P. (Cze)
20:00 Sabalenka A. (Blr) - Zhang S. (Chn)