ORDER OF PLAY
CENTRE COURT -- 12:00 noon start
 Aryna SABALENKA (BLR) vs. Veronika KUDERMETOVA (RUS)
 Shuko AOYAMA (JPN) / Ena SHIBAHARA (JPN) vs.  Hayley CARTER (USA) / Luisa STEFANI (BRA)
No.4 seed Aryna Sabalenka will go for her ninth career WTA singles title (and third in a row) while Veronika Kudermetova will aim for her first-ever WTA singles title when they face off for the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open trophy on Wednesday.
Sabalenka won their lone previous meeting, which came in Antalya, Turkey on the ITF Challenger Circuit back in 2015. Both players were ranked outside of the Top 300 at the time.
Sabalenka is projected to rise to a new career-high ranking of World No.7 if she were to win the title. Kudermetova is already projected to improve her career-best ranking to World No.36 by reaching the final, and she could jump to World No.33 if she wins the title.
World No.10 Sabalenka is 8-4 in her previous WTA singles finals, and all eight of her titles have come on hardcourt. The Belarusian is seeking her 15th straight match-win, which would also complete a run of three straight titles dating back to triumphs at Ostrava and Linz to end the 2020 season.
Kudermetova had a breakthrough with her semifinal victory over Marta Kostyuk, as she has now moved into her maiden WTA singles final. The Russian had previously gone 0-for-4 in WTA semifinal matches. Her semifinal victory over Kostyuk also marked the 50th WTA main-draw match-win of her career.
World No.46 Kudermetova upset two seeded players this week, No.10 seed Anett Kontaveit in the opening round and No.2 seed Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals. The Russian maintained her undefeated records against both of those players (she is 3-0 against Kontaveit and 2-0 against Svitolina).
Kudermetova seeks her sixth career Top 10 win in the final against Sabalenka, which would give her two Top 10 victories in the same tournament for the first time in her career. The Russian's quarterfinal win over Svitolina was her fifth career victory over a Top 10 opponent.
In the doubles final, No.5 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara will meet No.8 seeds Hayley Carter and Luisa Stefani.
These teams got to know each other very well in 2020, as they squared off in the round of 16 at the last two Grand Slam events. At the 2020 US Open, Carter and Stefani claimed a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 victory over the Japanese pair, sending them into their first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. Aoyama and Shibahara got their revenge over Carter and Stefani at 2020 Roland Garros, earning a spot in the Paris quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win.
Aoyama has won 12 WTA doubles titles in her career, the last three of which have come with Shibahara, at 2019 Tianjin, 2019 Moscow, and 2019 St. Petersburg. Those are Shibahara's first three WTA doubles titles of her career.
This is Carter and Stefani's fifth WTA final as a doubles team. The duo is 2-2 in their previous team finals, winning WTA doubles titles at 2019 Tashkent and 2020 Lexington.
They might be opponents in the Abu Dhabi final, but Carter and Shibahara previously made one WTA doubles final paired together, at 2019 Bogota (losing to Zoe Hives and Astra Sharma).