Aryna Sabalenka banking on momentum, Iga Swiatek chasing Paris title defence-Sports activities Information , Pleased Easterday
Forward of the French Open, Pleased Easterday.com takes a have a look at the ladies’s singles draw and (bravely/foolishly) makes an attempt to find out the potential consequence 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 way of within the girls’s singles competitors. Final 12 months’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 seeking to get her palms on one other Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for the lounge mantelpiece. Naomi Osaka has plenty of naysayers to show mistaken on the purple dust, 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, Pleased Easterday.com takes a have a look at the draw and (bravely/foolishly) makes an attempt to find out the potential consequence of all 4 quarters:
In the course of the 2020 version of the French Open, Ashleigh Barty was midway by way of an 11-month COVID-19 hiatus. Primarily, which means the World No 1 missed a complete season’s value 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 gained two, particularly 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 because of an arm harm regardless of being a arrange on Coco Gauff.
Heading into Roland Garros in this sort of kind, it would not be clever to wager in opposition to the 2019 winner, however nonetheless, she has a mountain to climb. She begins her marketing campaign in opposition to Bernarda Pera, a match-up that should not trigger her too many issues, however within the third spherical, there is a excessive probability that she is going to come up in opposition to Ons Jabeur, who has constructed up a popularity of being a tricky nut to crack. After that, it is a bit tougher to foretell who Barty might probably be pitted in opposition to, 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 respectable performances in Stuttgart and Rome. Svitolina may also be helped no finish by the truth that Venus Williams and Ekaterina Alexandrova will face off within the first spherical, in what needs to be a belter of a gap contest. Karolina Pliskova can 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 gained 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 wanting spectacular. The Polish teenager was in awe-inspiring kind, and he or she completely blew away each certainly one of her opponents, managing to carry the trophy with out dropping a single set. Since then, her kind has been a 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 onerous courts, so Swiatek should not be too frightened. The fourth spherical is the place it actually will get attention-grabbing, as a result of Swiatek may need to face 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, and that may be a match-up that is a bit too near name.
Elsewhere, the girl that Swiatek bested to win the title final 12 months, Sofia Kenin, can be seeking to make amends for her defeat within the ultimate. However that could be simpler stated than achieved. Kenin has had a completely horrible starting to her clay season, dropping 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 in opposition to 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko to start with, and a hattrick of losses on clay will not be 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 onerous 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 overwhelmed by Barty, earlier than avenging that defeat in spectacular style by seeing off the identical opponent to clinch the Madrid Open title. Her efficiency within the final few weeks signifies that she is presently fourth within the WTA rankings, and a very good efficiency in Paris might see that quantity rise even greater.
That isn’t to say that will probably be a very simple job for the Belarusian. She might probably face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova within the first week, earlier than a possible fourth-round encounter in opposition to Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka herself has a few powerful matches in retailer for her, together with a first-round encounter with Svetlana Kuznetsova and the potential for a third-round match in opposition to 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 in opposition to Angelique Kerber, who has not been in nice type of late, and Danielle Collins, who is just simply making her return to the circuit after present process surgical procedure to deal with her endometriosis. In a while, within the fourth spherical, she might face acquainted foe Petra Kvitova, who has overwhelmed 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 top-of-the-line tennis gamers round in the meanwhile, however the four-time Grand Slam champion’s expertise on clay have at all times, even at one of the best of occasions, been a rung beneath her capacity on onerous courts. To this point, on this clay season, she’s not achieved a lot to alter that truth, dropping two of solely three matches that she has performed, in opposition to Jessica Pegula in Rome and Karolina Muchova in Madrid.
This time round, nevertheless, there’s sufficient purpose for her to lastly solid off all of the aspersions about her competency on dust. She begins her marketing campaign in opposition to 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 serious 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 stomach 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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