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Charleston 2021: Leylah Fernandez vs Zhang Shuai preview, head-to-head & prediction | Volvo Car Open

Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 06 Apr 2021
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Match details

Fixture: Leylah Fernandez vs Zhang Shuai

Date: 6 April 2021

Tournament: Volvo Car Open 2021

Round: First round (Round of 64)

Venue: Charleston, United States

Category: WTA 500

Surface: Green clay

Prize money: $823,000

Match timing: 10 am local time, 7.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort

Leylah Fernandez vs Zhang Shuai preview

Zhang Shuai
Zhang Shuai

Leylah Fernandez will be looking to make her mark at the 2021 Volvo Car Open as she takes on China's Zhang Shuai in the first round on Tuesday.

Fernandez is one of the most promising teens on the WTA tour right now. The Canadian has reached a new career-high ranking of No. 72, having won her maiden WTA title at Monterrey a couple of weeks ago.

Fernandez was on top of her game throughout the 250-level event, not dropping a single set en route to her breakthrough victory.

The 18-year-old will be looking to back that up with a good run at the 500-level event in Charleston. And standing in her way first up is World No. 41 Zhang Shuai.

Zhang is currently on a four-match losing streak, dating back to her fourth-round loss to World No. 11 Petra Kvitova at the 2020 French Open. The Chinese has only entered two tournaments in 2021 so far, but is yet to secure a win.

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Leylah Fernandez vs Zhang Shuai preview

The first-round match in Charleston will be the first career meeting between Leylah Fernandez and Zhang Shuai on the WTA tour, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Leylah Fernandez vs Zhang Shuai prediction

Leylah Fernandez hits a backhand
Leylah Fernandez hits a backhand

Leylah Fernandez hasn't yet achieved a lot of success on clay, with both of her two career final coming on hardcourts.

The Canadian did give a good account of herself at last year's Roland Garros, where she beat Magda Linette and Polona Hercog before losing to Petra Kvitova in the third round. But her still-developing game might not be as potent on dirt as it is on quicker surfaces.

Zhang Shuai, just like her young opponent, hasn't shown a particular affinity to clay either. That said, the 32-year-old has a vast amount of experience on the tour, which makes her a tricky customer to deal with. Zhang has an all-round game and is adept at taking the ball on the rise and redirecting it out of the opponent's reach.

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The key for Fernandez will be to return with good depth on Zhang's serve, and prevent the Chinese from setting up camp on the baseline. If she manages to do that, she might be able to come through this one unscathed.

Prediction: Leylah Fernandez to win in three sets.

Published 05 Apr 2021, 15:07 IST
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