Aryna Sabalenka banking on momentum, Iga Swiatek chasing Paris title defence-Sports activities Information , Alenz
Forward of the French Open, Alenz.com takes a take a look at the ladies’s singles draw and (bravely/foolishly) makes an attempt to find out the potential end result of all 4 quarters.
After its particular winter version, courtesy of COVID-19 , Roland Garros is again to its springtime greatest, and forward of the 2021 version of the match, there are all method of storylines to select by within the girls’s singles competitors. Final yr’s winner Iga Swiatek can be desirous to show that she’s not a one-hit-wonder, whereas World No 1 Ashleigh Barty can be trying to get her palms on one other Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for the lounge mantelpiece. Naomi Osaka has loads of naysayers to show incorrect on the purple grime, whereas Aryna Sabalenka can be hoping that this is the match that propels her into the elusive Grand Slam membership.
This being the ladies’s singles we’re speaking about, the one factor that’s sure is that nothing is definite, so forward of the French Open, Alenz.com takes a take a look at the draw and (bravely/foolishly) makes an attempt to find out the potential end result of all 4 quarters:
In the course of the 2020 version of the French Open, Ashleigh Barty was midway by an 11-month COVID-19 hiatus. Basically, which means the World No 1 missed a complete season’s price of motion, however by the way in which she’s been taking part in currently, you actually would not understand it. Since her return to the circuit in early February, the Australian has performed eight tournaments, and has reached the ultimate on 4 events. Of these 4 finals, she’s received two, specifically the Stuttgart and Miami Opens.
Barty has loved appreciable success on clay in 2021, and along with her win in Stuttgart, she has made it to the quarter-finals of the Charleston Open, the ultimate of the Madrid Open and the quarter-finals of the Italian Open, by which she retired as a result of an arm harm regardless of being a arrange on Coco Gauff.
Heading into Roland Garros in this type of type, it would not be smart to wager towards the 2019 winner, however nonetheless, she has a mountain to climb. She begins her marketing campaign towards Bernarda Pera, a match-up that should not trigger her too many issues, however within the third spherical, there is a excessive chance that she’s going to come up towards Ons Jabeur, who has constructed up a repute of being a tricky nut to crack. After that, it is a little bit tougher to foretell who Barty might probably be pitted towards, with each Jennifer Brady and Coco Gauff wanting like contenders for that spot.
Within the different half of the quarter, Elina Svitolina does appear like a agency favorite, after posting first rate performances in Stuttgart and Rome. Svitolina can even be helped no finish by the truth that Venus Williams and Ekaterina Alexandrova will face off within the first spherical, in what ought to be a belter of a gap contest. Karolina Pliskova can also be on this portion of the draw, however she has put in a number of disappointing performances of late. Barbora Krejcikova has additionally given herself a little bit of a shout as a darkish horse, seeing as she simply received a title in Strasbourg.
First-round matches to look at: Yulia Putintseva vs Ons Jabeur, Karolina Pliskova vs Donna Vekic, Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Venus Williams
Potential semi-finalist: Ashleigh Barty
Iga Swiatek’s win on the 2020 French Open was nothing in need of spectacular. The Polish teenager was in awe-inspiring type, and she or he completely blew away each one among her opponents, managing to raise the trophy with out dropping a single set. Since then, her type has been a little bit inconsistent, with early exits in Australia, Miami and Dubai, however she’s additionally picked up two extra trophies, the extra memorable of these coming after a brutal 6-0, 6-0 win over Karolina Pliskova within the Italian Open.
Swiatek can be taking over unseeded gamers for the primary two rounds, after which she might probably run into Anett Kontaveit within the third. Kontaveit presently has a 2-0 lead within the head-to-head between the 2, however each of these wins have come on laborious courts, so Swiatek should not be too frightened. The fourth spherical is the place it actually will get fascinating, as a result of Swiatek might need to face 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, and that could be a match-up that is a little bit too near name.
Elsewhere, the lady that Swiatek bested to win the title final yr, Sofia Kenin, can be trying to make amends for her defeat within the last. However that could be simpler mentioned than executed. Kenin has had a completely horrible starting to her clay season, shedding in straight units in the one two matches she has performed on the floor. To make issues worse for the American, she has a really tough first-round match towards 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko to start with, and a hattrick of losses on clay just isn’t all that unlikely. Ought to Kenin beat Ostapenko, she would possibly have a tricky fixture in retailer within the fourth spherical, seeing as she is on a collision course with Elise Mertens, who loves taking part in on clay.
First-round matches to look at: Sofia Kenin vs Jelena Ostapenko, Petra Martic vs Camila Giorgi
Potential semi-finalist: Iga Swiatek
When Serena Williams is within the fray, it is laborious to make a case for anybody else as a speaking level, however heading into Roland Garros, nobody within the third quarter has extra buzz round them than Aryna Sabalenka. Within the build-up to the French Open, Sabalenka made all of it the way in which to the ultimate of the Stuttgart Open the place she was crushed by Barty, earlier than avenging that defeat in spectacular vogue by seeing off the identical opponent to clinch the Madrid Open title. Her efficiency within the final few weeks implies that she is presently fourth within the WTA rankings, and a great efficiency in Paris might see that quantity rise even increased.
That isn’t to say that it is going to be a very simple activity for the Belarusian. She might possible face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova within the first week, earlier than a possible fourth-round encounter towards Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka herself has a few powerful matches in retailer for her, together with a first-round encounter with Svetlana Kuznetsova and the opportunity of a third-round match towards the big-hitting American Madison Keys.
— wta (@WTA) May 8, 2021
Within the different half, Serena has a fairly tame draw, with essentially the most urgent considerations within the early rounds being potential match-ups towards Angelique Kerber, who has not been in nice type of late, and Danielle Collins, who is simply simply making her return to the circuit after present process surgical procedure to deal with her endometriosis. Afterward, within the fourth spherical, she might face acquainted foe Petra Kvitova, who has crushed her on clay earlier than.
First-round matches to look at: Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Potential semi-finalist: Aryna Sabalenka
Naomi Osaka is undoubtedly probably the greatest tennis gamers round for the time being, however the four-time Grand Slam champion’s expertise on clay have at all times, even at one of the best of instances, been a rung beneath her capability on laborious courts. Thus far, on this clay season, she’s not executed a lot to alter that reality, shedding two of solely three matches that she has performed, towards Jessica Pegula in Rome and Karolina Muchova in Madrid.
This time round, nevertheless, there’s sufficient motive for her to lastly forged off all of the aspersions about her competency on grime. She begins her marketing campaign towards 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig, who’s but to win on clay in a match correct in 2021. Essentially the most daunting of her potential opponents within the early rounds is Paula Badosa, who’s coming off a significant title win within the Serbia Open, and will knock out Osaka within the third spherical.
Within the different half, there are a number of gamers that would trigger Osaka issues within the quarter-finals, chief amongst which is Bianca Andreescu. Andreescu, who’s coming off an belly harm that pressured her withdrawal in Strasbourg, will tackle Tamara Zidansek within the first spherical, adopted by a tricky couple of match-ups within the form of Veronika Kudermetova and Belinda Bencic. Sorana Cirstea additionally deserves an honourable point out on this quarter, seeing as she made all of it the way in which to the ultimate in Strasbourg, giving her momentum heading into the match.
First-round matches to look at: Veronika Kudermetova vs Amanda Anisimova, Marketa Vondrousova vs Kaia Kanepi
Potential semi-finalist: Bianca Andreescu
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