Oceane Dodin was, not long ago, one of the most promising prospects of the game. However, injuries and time off the court saw her slide down the rankings and make space for younger players.
The 23-year-old is playing in the quarter-finals of a major WTA event for the first time in a while as she will have a shot to make a proper comeback against Australia Open champion Sofia Kenin on Friday.
The two women will go head-to-head at the newly-minted Lyon Open and despite the home support, the odds are firmly stacked against the Frenchwoman.
Kenin was one of the most in-form players coming into the year and looked set for great things following her triumph in Melbourne.
Despite a slump following her first slam, the 21-year-old remains a formidable opponent. It is truer especially after her second-round win against Romanian qualifier Jaqueline Cristian, where she saved a match point to stage a comeback win in three sets. It was a spectacular win- the kind that the American is becoming increasingly good at.
Kenin was never the most dominant in her wins but it was her fighter instinct that got her through the big victories.
Meanwhile, Dodin is a completely different opponent as she is not known for indulging in long rallies or winning the points by wearing her opponents out. She plays a simpler and more aggressive game, which is based on her big serve and groundstrokes.
The serve has particularly been showcased in Lyon when she hit 15 aces in her tough two-set win against the talented Mandy Minella in the second round. As a result, she will likely head into this match feeling confident in that department.
Dodin will have to stay aggressive if she wants to stand a chance against Kenin. Serving well will be key and even the slightest of let-ups can cost her dearly.
Prediction: Dodin to win in two tight sets
Published 06 Mar 2020, 17:54 IST