Elena Rybakina and Rebecca Peterson will clash on Ariake Tennis Park tennis court on Monday, July 26, in the second round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will mark their first meeting since September 2019, when Peterson won 2-0, yet is priced as a heavy betting underdog to repeat her success in Tokyo.
Elena Rybakina vs Rebecca Peterson
When: Monday, July 26 – 11:00 JST
Where: Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan
Weather: Clear, 29°C
It’s going to be a hot day in Japan, but the retractable roof at the courts of the Ariake Tennis Park should provide enough shelter from the sun to the two WTA players.
Elena Rybakina and Rebecca Peterson both started their Olympics campaign with a 2-0 win. Rybakina, who’s currently ranked 20th in the WTA Rankings, won against the 2021 US Open champion, Samantha Stosur.
Peterson, the number 59 in the WTA Rankings, won against Mayar Sherif (#118) in Round 1. She’s entering the second round as a major underdog against Rybakina, with odds on Peterson as long as 4.00 at some online sportsbooks. Let’s see if she can prove the oddsmakers wrong!
Rybakina Seems to Love Playing on Hard Courts
Rybakina met with Peterson only once in her career, two years ago at the 2019 WTA Nanchang, where the Swede won with relative ease. The match ended in two straight sets, with Peterson collecting a 6-2 and 6-0.
However, back then, Rybakina was only just beginning her rise to tennis stardom and has since reached a much higher placement on the WTA Rankings. Most recently, Rybakina made it to the quarter-finals of the 2021 French Open, where she lost to the eventual finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with 7-6, 2-6, 7-9.
A lot has changed since Rybakina last played with Peterson. The 22-year-old Kazakhstan international is now ranked much higher than her opponent and seems to love playing on the hard courts. She has already played 13 matches on this surface in 2021.
That said, Rybakina hasn’t done much so far, to be honest, winning just seven of those matches. On the other side, she had to play against some really tough opponents this year, including Ons Jabeur (#23), Barbora Krejcikova (#11), and Aryna Sabalenka (#3). She lost all three of those bouts with 1-2.
Resilient Swede Wants to Stay in the Tournament for a While Longer
Rebecca Peterson is famously a player who never gives up, especially when playing at big tournaments. Representing her country at the Olympics is a dream come true for the Swede, meaning that we can expect her to give her utmost in this game.
Speaking of motivation, the same might not be the case with Rybakina, who’s a Moscow-born native Russian player representing Kazakhstan. Rybakina decided to do so in 2018 after the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation offered her financial support if she switched nationality.
The motivation might be on the side of Peterson, but what about quality? Although she might not be at the same level as Rybakina – as evident from their WTA Rankings – Peterson is far from a bad player.
The highest she got up the WTA ladder was #49, but she’s still has plenty of time to improve her standings and prove her worth. At the age of 25, Peterson will have plenty of more opportunities to shine.
Elena Rybakina vs Rebecca Peterson Betting Picks
The oddsmakers think Rybakina will take this, which might be accurate, but we expect a close affair. Peterson has proven herself as a very resilient player that is tough to beat.
In her tournament opener, Peterson edged past Mayar Sherif (7-5, 7-6). While that result might make you a bit skeptical about the Swede’s quality, it’s worth pointing out that the Egyptian played exceptionally well on the day.
Prediction: Rebecca Peterson +1.50 Sets
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