Date: 22 May 2022
Tournament: French Open 2022
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor clay
Prize money: €21,256,800
Match timing: 11 a.m. local time, 9 a.m. GMT, 5 a.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel, NBC Sports and Peacock TV | Canada - TSN | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Ten
Ons Jabeur vs Magda Linette preview
World No. 6 Ons Jabeur will take on Poland's Magda Linette in the first round of the 2022 French Open on Sunday.
Jabeur has had an incredible clay season so far and is one of the top contenders in Paris. She started the clay season with a runner-up finish at the Charleston Open, losing to Belinda Bencic in the final. The Tunisian did well in Stuttgart too, reaching the quarterfinals with wins over 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova and Daria Kasatkina.
Jabeur then won the biggest title of her career at the Madrid Open. She defeated players like Simona Halep, Jessica Pegula and Bencic to lift the trophy. The 27-year-old continued her fine run of form at the Italian Open, reaching a second final on the trot before going down against World No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Still, the Tunisian's recent success is likely to help her improve on her previous best finish at the French Open (4R).
Magda Linette, meanwhile, commenced her clay season with a quarterfinal showing at the Charleston Open. The Pole didn't walk away empty-handed though, as she won the doubles title in the American city.
She suffered a couple of disappointing results after that as she made a first-round exit from the Istanbul Cup and failed to get past the qualifying rounds in Madrid.
Linette then competed in a couple of WTA 125k events, reaching the quarterfinals in Saint-Malo. Her last tournament in the lead-up to Roland Garros was the Strasbourg Open. She made it to the last eight with wins over Varvara Gracheva and Heather Watson, but lost to former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber in three sets.
Linette's best showing at the French Open has been a couple of third-round appearances.
Ons Jabeur vs Magda Linette head-to-head
The two have faced off four times before, with Jabeur leading 3-1 in the head-to-head. The Tunisian won their most recent encounter at this year's Miami Open in straight sets.
Ons Jabeur vs Magda Linette odds
All odds are sourced from BetMGM.
Ons Jabeur vs Magda Linette prediction
Jabeur will be the firm favorite heading into this contest, but Linette has had some good results too and cannot be counted out. The Tunisian has blossomed into an elite player, with her consistency helping her reach the business end of plenty of tournaments.
Jabeur is a sound tactician and has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. Her well-disguised drop shots often catch her opponents off guard. Her fitness has also improved considerably as she's able to engage in long duels without tiring herself.
It's not just the physical aspect of her game that's led to her recent success, but also her mental fortitude. While she used to crumble under pressure in her early years on tour, she suffers very few lapeses these days.
Linette is a tricky opponent to face early on. The Pole employs a counterpunching brand of tennis, but isn't afraid to take the initiative either. She also has an effective backhand slice. Her serve isn't exactly a weapon though, which puts her under pressure against strong returners.
This should be an interesting match-up. Jabeur hasn't suffered an early loss in quite some time and facing an adversary of Linette's caliber in the first round could put the World No. 6 in a spot of trouble. But the Tunisian should be able to notch up a win and get her French Open campaign up and running.
Pick: Ons Jabeur to win in straight sets.