French Open Day 3 Women’s Predictions Including Karolina Pliskova vs Donna Vekic

Italian Open Semifinal Predictions

We wrap up the first round of the French Open on Day 3 on Tuesday. The women will delight tennis fans in Paris and worldwide with 20 matches. As always, we’re here to predict all of them for you. This article looks at four matches, so we have four more articles to go with it. One features Ashleigh Barty vs Bernarda Pera, the next headlines Coco Gauff vs Aleksandra Krunic, one highlights Venus Williams vs Ekaterina Alexandrova, and the fourth features Ons Jabeur vs Yulia Putintseva. Predicting this set of matches are Jim Smith, Fraser Learmounth, and Yesh Ginsburg.

French Open Day 3 Women’s Predictions

Maria Sakkari vs Katarina Zavatska

Fraser:
Sakkari has been one of the standout performers on the tour so far this year and was my pick at the start of 2021 to make real inroads in big tournaments. The French Open is the perfect opportunity for her to do just that. The Greek has a remodeled serve, newfound aggression and a never-say-die attitude. Look out for her in the second week if she brings that mix again this week in Paris.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2

Yesh:
Sakkari is a superb talent whose aggressive game sometimes has potential to go awry. It hasn’t been misfiring too much recently, though, so she shouldn’t have too much trouble here.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2

Jim:
Sakkari will no doubt be slightly disappointed with her efforts over the clay-court season, with the Greek having lost in close matches before the quarterfinals in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome. But the draw has given her slightly more protection at Roland Garros and though Zavatska should not be underestimated after an impressive qualifying campaign, the Greek should have the edge here.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2

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Ann Li vs Margarita Gasparyan

Fraser:
This is difficult to call. Gasparyan is on a five match losing streak, but Li hasn’t played since March and is yet to feature on clay this year. Li is a rising star on the women’s tour but is relatively untested on the red dirt. Given the surface is so unique and challenging, I am going to give the edge to Gasparyan in this one despite her abysmal form coming into the match.
Prediction: Gasparyan in 3

Yesh:
Gasparyan is a solid and pretty consistent player. Li isn’t consistent, but she does constantly surprise us by playing well above what we think her ability is. Li has been improving, though, and should be able to find some weaknesses in the Gasparyan game. Expect a tight match, but I like the American.
Prediction: Li in 3

Jim:
Li has scored some memorable wins so far in her fledging career and has reached the third round at the last two Majors she has played. But she comes into this match having not played a clay-court match yet this season. Gasparyan may not be in particularly good form, having lost her last five matches, but she has at least been out of court. Expect her to book her place in the second round.
Prediction: Gasparyan in 3

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Sloane Stephens vs Carla Suarez Navarro

Fraser:
I think I speak for all of us when I say seing Carla Suarez Navarro back on a tennis court is an amazing story that brought a smile to all our faces. The Spaniard successfully beat cancer and has returned to the clay to bring us beautiful single-handers once more. She faces a tricky first match in Sloane Stephens, but should be able to play with freedom given she might never have stepped onto a tennis court again just a few months ago. Stephens may well edge it, but this match will be a joy to watch either way.
Prediction: Stephens in 3

Yesh:
I have two problems with this match. First, I find it impossible to predict Sloane Stephens matches. When she plays well, she’s nearly unbeatable, even by the game’s elite. When she plays poorly, she can lose to anyone on Tour. Second of all, it just feels wrong to pick against Carla Suarez Navarro right now. Stephens has been playing relatively well recently, but she hasn’t been consistent in a few years now.
Prediction: Suarez Navarro in 2

Jim:
There will be no shortage of goodwill towards Suarez Navarro and rightly so. The Spaniard more than deserves it after recovering from Hodgkin Lymphoma to return to action at the French Open. But although Stephens is not the force she once was, the American has been playing solid tennis of late and should have too much for the returning Suarez Navarro.
Prediction: Stephens in 2

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Karolina Pliskova vs Donna Vekic

Fraser:
Pliskova will be delighted with her first round matchup given her recent struggles on the tour. She did make the final of Rome recently, but was then comprehensively double-bageled by Iga Swiatek. That match was the third or fourth reminder this season that the Czech’s movement simply isn’t up to standard.That being said, If she gets enough balls in her strike zone and serves well she can beat anybody. Vekic hasn’t played on the tour in some time now and that rust may well offer up the kinds of balls Pliskova needs to dominate. Given the Czech’s recent run in Rome, she should win this comfortably but there are real questions about her ability to go far in this tournament.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Yesh:
A few years can change everything. Vekic was improving and looking like a potential threat to the top players in the game. Now, though, she hasn’t even played competitively since the Australian Open. She did well there, reaching the fourth round, actually. But you can’t expect to compete with a player of Pliskova’s caliber without match fitness, which Vekic undoubtedly lacks.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Jim:
Whatever confidence Pliskova was able to build up by reaching the final in Rome was surely mostly undone by the 0-6 0-6 defeat she suffered there at the hands of Iga Swiatek. But she has been handed what looks like a favorable draw here. Vekic has not played a shot in anger since the Australian Open after undergoing knee surgery and it is hard to see her getting the better of Pliskova in her first match back in action.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Main Photo from Getty.


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