We have reached the third round at the French Open. On Day 6, the Round of 32 begins. That means that we at LWOT will predict every single match from this point forward. That’s right. Every match. This set of predictions contains four matches, including one between Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina. The other set, containing the other four matches, features Petra Martic vs Karolina Pliskova. Predicting the matches for you today are myself (Yesh Ginsburg), David, and Tracey Essex.
French Open Day 6 Women’s Predictions
Elise Mertens vs Anastasija Sevastova
Elise Mertens takes on Anastasija Sevastova in a WTA Top 20 clash. Mertens has seemingly bused out of her slump, beating rising star Tamara Zidansek in the first round and French wildcard Diane Parry in the second round. Sevastova has had a solid clay court season, despite it being her weakest and has not dropped a set so far this tournament in wins over Luksika Kumkhum and Mandy Minella. Mertens’ counterpunching skills in her win over Zidansek was very impressive, and should frustrate Sevastova, a player who can let her frustration affect her variety-based play.
Prediction: Mertens in 3
After winning the Qatar Open, Mertens has had little success. Now, the Belgian is showing promise, albeit she started her French Open campaign against much lesser opponents. Sevastova will be her first real challenge in Paris. While Sevastova has enjoyed straight sets wins in Paris, she too is facing a much tougher opponent. Mertens is simply a better clay courter than Sevastova and should be able to come through this one.
Prediction: Mertens in 2
Mertens is better on clay, but Sevastova is the better overall player. On top of that, Mertens is working her way out of a rough slump. This match might be a little tight, but I fully expect Sevastova to pull through without ever being in real danger of losing.
Prediction: Sevastova in 2
Viktoria Kuzmova vs Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta battles Viktoria Kuzmova with a trip to the second week of Roland Garros on the line. Konta, who’s weakest surface is clay, has surprised many as she reached the Rabat and Rome finals this clay court season. Konta survived a tough challenge against Lauren Davis in the second round. Kuzmova, who’s game doesn’t translate very well to clay, has managed to pick up wins on the surface, including an impressive first round over Alize Cornet.She was fortunate in the second round, as Kiki Bertens was forced to retire. Konta is proving that she has the patience to play on the clay, and she should be able to get past Kuzmova.
Prediction: Konta in 3
After Johanna Konta’s second round match against American Lauren Davis, I am not confident that the Brit can continue the clay court magic she’s been experiencing. I think Konta may be crashing back down to Earth, challenged to maintain that high level of play we’ve come to expect from Britain’s #1. Konta will need to clean up her serve and sharpen her defensive skills. Kuzmova turned in a commanding win over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet. And The 21-year-old Slovakian has enough power to send clean winners to Konta’s side. If the Konta serve doesn’t improve, this match will quickly pass her by. If the Konta serve is on, I think she’ll only get a set off the hungry, young Slovakian.
Prediction: Kuzmova in 3
Johanna Konta is playing her best clay tennis of her career, and shows no signs of letting up. She’s already achieved a career-best result at Roland Garros, and she should move on to improve on that even further.
Prediction: Konta in 2
Veronika Kudermetova vs Kaia Kanepi
A prime opportunity to reach the round of 16 awaits as Veronika Kudermetova takes on Kaia Kanepi. Kudermetova has had a breakthrough clay court season, making three WTA Tour quarterfinals. Kanepi has not played much on clay so far this season, but upset Julia Goerges in the first round and survived a tight match over Zhang Shuai in the second round. She also picked up a win over Kudermetova on the green clay of Charleston in straight sets. This is a fairly even matchup, and in a situation like this, you look to experience to pick a winner. And Kanepi, who has been to Grand Slam quarterfinals six times, including at Roland Garros twice. Expect Kanepi to come through in the big moments.
Prediction: Kanepi in 3
Kudermetova is poised to make her first trip to Round 4 of a Grand Slam. And, if she can clean up that serve a bit, she should see off Kaia Kanepi. Kanepi bested her in Charleston earlier this year. Even though Kanepi chalked up the Charleston win, Kudermetova really pushed her. Now Kudermetova is winning the big points and will break through the Kanepi challenge.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
These two played a few months ago, and Kanepi came away with the win. In the few months since, Kudermetova has really upped her game. She’s a threat to anyone in the world on clay, and should be able to brush Kanepi aside here.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 2
Garbine Muguruza vs Elina Svitolina
Garbine Muguruza takes on Elina Svitolina in a high-profile WTA clash. After struggling in the first set against Taylor Townsend in the first round, Muguruza has lost nine games in four sets to reach the third set. Svitolina, who recently returned from injury, got a win over an erratic Venus Williams that looks much better on paper than in reality. Then, she got lucky with a second round walkover when Katerina Kozlova pulled out of the tournament. I am not convinced that Svitolina is fully healthy yet and I think the former champ gets it done.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
The Spaniard’s form looked to have improved in her win over Larsson. If that continues, Muguruza has a good chance of winning this match. While Svitolina is no doubt a talented player, she isn’t as strong a clay courter as Muguruza. I’ll ignore Svitolina’s strong head to head lead and pick Muguruza for the win.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
Garbine Muguruza has been far from perfect this clay season. Then again, so has Elina Svitolina. Both of them have looked better this tournament, but Svitolina’s win over Venus Williams was the most impressive. This is a bad draw for both, but I think Svitolina is the better pick here. She’s better overall in this matchup, and has looked better on clay at times in recent years.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3
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