Neither of these two tennis players played too much tennis this year. They both played less than ten matches, which makes sense because we're pretty early in the season. It also means that neither has had a spectacular run so far, which is also true.
Sakkari played well at the United Cup but lost early in Melbourne. Something similar happened to Sorana Cirstea, but she actually went winless Down Under.
Her first win came only in Abu Dhabi, when she ousted Caroline Garcia in the opening round of the WTA 500 competition. That's her biggest direct advantage in this matchup. She actually played this week.
We saw them play three matches before. Two of those happened a long time ago, so we won't look at them too much. Both were won by Cirstea, who was the better player at the time. The most recent meeting happened last year at the Cincinnati Open and Sakkari won that one 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
This one should be pretty similar because it is a close matchup, and you don't beat Cirstea easily. She knows these courts well, but even with all of her talents, Sakkari should have the upper hand. She's proven to be quite confident when it comes to exchanging blows from the baseline.
It mostly comes down to whether Sakkari is actually having a good day or a good week. Unfortunately, we can't know until she plays at least one match, and her first will be this one.
I'm going to assume that it ends up being good for her, which should be enough to win this match. If Cirstea won, it wouldn't be a huge surprise, though.
Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in three sets.