Roland Garros Panelist Predictions Women’s Day 3 Including Barty-Keys


Day three in Paris will feature a mouthwatering clash between Ashleigh Barty and Madison Keys as well as current Race to Singapore leader Elina Svitolina. Our panel of Sam Barker, Jakub Bobro and Niall Clarke are on hand to offer their previews and predictions.

[5] Elina Svitolina vs. Yaroslava Shvedova

Sam: Elina Svitolina is not leader in the Race to Singapore by fluke and the young Ukrainian consistently rolling out scintillating performance. Her Rome title propelled her into the group of leading contenders and matches such as this are simply routine nowadays. An easy victory.

Svitolina in 2

Jakub: 5th seed Elina Svitolina is one of the main favourites to win Roland Garros, #1 in the Race to Singapore and the recent Rome winner. Shvedova is mostly a grass and doubles specialist and has not managed to get a win over a top 100 player on clay, albeit facing Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Williams in her opening matches in Madrid and Rome. Shvedova won their only meeting, last year at Wimbledon. On clay, Svitolina is definitely the favourite for me.

Svitolina in 2

Niall: Shvedova is one of those floaters that you do not want to draw. When she is ‘on’ she plays top ten tennis, so this is a dangerous match-up for Svitolina. The thing is Shvedova has a habit of letting nerves get the better of her in winning positions, so the smart money is on the Ukrainian.

Svitolina in 3

Alize Cornet vs. Timea Babos

Sam: A first time meeting between two players floundering at the moment suggests this might not be a classic. Babos has improved greatly over the last couple of years but clay is not her surface. Cornet can be erratic but the home fans should help her across the line.

Cornet in 2

Jakub: Cornet and Babos both had rough clay seasons, losing matches within their ability to win. If not great tennis, I expect at least great dramatic value. Cornet is very well known for her on court antics but she will be supported by the home crowd, which should give her the edge.

Cornet in 3

Niall: French pressure is a funny thing that affects players in different ways. For Cornet, she has never made it past the fourth round. Babos is a tough player with a big serve and plenty of power. On clay I favour Cornet though, and I think she will get it done.

Cornet in 3

Ashleigh Barty vs. [12] Madison Keys

Sam: Probably the most intriguing first round match of them all sees raw power take on baseline consistency. Keys has been pretty woeful this year on her comeback from injury and a criminally under-ranked Barty should be able to exploit that.

Barty in 2

Jakub: Keys has been struggling since her injury, going winless on clay. Ashleigh Barty’s comeback has been the complete opposite. Already this year the Aussie has won her maiden title in Kuala Lumpur and made quarterfinals in Strasbourg. Barty is on the come-up and, after what I believe will be a great match as the two juxtapose each other in style, it will be a Barty party.

Barty in 3

Niall: Keys has not played much this year and clay is not her best surface so this match has upset potential. Barty has played well since returning to tour so I am going out on a limb and predicting the Aussie for the upset.

Barty in 3

Miyu Kato vs. Taylor Townsend

Sam: This is an intriguing clash between two lesser known competitors who have been impressing on the dirt at ITF level. Kato looked polished during qualifying while Townsend is still struggling to live up to the hype that surrounded her a couple of years ago. Kato may just sneak this in a tight three sets.

Kato in 3

Jakub: The Japanese qualifier Miyu Kato has played very well through qualifying, beating players like Sramkova and Jabeur, both of whom seem to be better on clay than Townsend. The American’s top clay result this year was a final at an ITF $25k.

Kato in 2

Niall: Not many eyes will be on this match, but it could be a close one. Kato came through qualifying so is more adjusted to the courts and conditions. I favour her to get it done.

Kato in 3

[20] Barbora Strycova vs. Alison Riske

Sam: Both Strycova and Riske have fully committed to the clay court swing with a couple of decent results apiece. The fact that it is neither’s best surface may impact the quality of the tennis but the relative closeness in current standard means it could be a gripping and tense affair.

Riske in 3

Jakub: Despite her game being not quite suitable for clay, Riske got some good wins on dirt over players like Cornet, Flipkens, or Mertens – all solid wins for the American. 20th seed Strycova has had a rather poor clay season after reaching semis at her home tournament in Prague. She lost her second match in both Madrid and Rome, but I still believe she has the quality to overcome Riske.

Strycova in 3

Niall: Clay is not the strongest surface for Strycova, but I think she will have enough to get past a tough test in Riske.

Strycova in 2

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