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Internationaux de Strasbourg 2021: Jessica Pegula vs Arantxa Rus preview, head-to-head & prediction

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula
Namit Kumar
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (2) Jessica Pegula vs Arantxa Rus

Date: 25 May 2021

Tournament: Internationaux de Strasbourg 2021

Round: First round (Round of 32)

Venue: Strasbourg, France

Category: WTA 250

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: $235,238

Match timing: Approx. 1 pm local time, 11 am GMT, 7 am EST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Jessica Pegula vs Arantxa Rus preview

The WTA 250 event in Strasbourg will be the last chance for Jessica Pegula to fine-tune her game on clay ahead of Roland Garros. The American faces a tricky test in her opening match against Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.

Pegula has made huge strides this year. She reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and Dubai, and followed it up with a semifinal showing in Doha.

She has, however, failed to kick on during the claycourt season. The 27-year-old advanced to the third round in Madrid and quarterfinals in Rome, and will be hoping for a deeper run in France, where she is the second seed.

Arantxa Rus
Arantxa Rus

Rus, on the other hand, has spent the majority of her season on the red dirt, having participated in Bogota, Madrid, and a string of lower-level tournaments.

The World No. 85, a mainstay on the WTA circuit, has not made much of a mark this year but will look to use this tournament as a catalyst to turn her fortunes around.

Jessica Pegula vs Arantxa Rus head-to-head

The first-round encounter in Strasbourg will be the third meeting between Jessica Pegula and Arantxa Rus. Their head-to-head currently stands at a 1-1 deadlock.

Rus prevailed in the pair's first meeting in Marseille way back in 2013. But Pegula won their most recent encounter, at the 2019 Miami Open.

Jessica Pegula vs Arantxa Rus prediction

In terms of form and ranking, Jessica Pegula is the firm favorite to win this match. The American will look to take the initiative early in the encounter and establish herself as the aggressor. Pegula has a solid game from the back of the court but her serve has proven problematic in recent times.

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula

For Rus, the key will be to push Pegula back behind the baseline using her heavy top-spin forehand. She will also have to be aggressive during return games to take advantage of Pegula's shaky second serve.

Ultimately, the American should have enough firepower to subdue Rus.

Prediction: Jessica Pegula to win in three sets.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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