Fixture: (4) Sofia Kenin vs (28) Jessica Pegula
Date: 5 June 2021
Tournament: Roland Garros 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red Clay
Prize money: €17,171,108
Match timing: Approx. 2 pm local time, 12 pm GMT, 8 am EST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | UK - ITV | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Sofia Kenin vs Jessica Pegula preview
Kenin's 2021 season has been far from straightforward. The American failed to defend her Australian Open title in February, following which appendix surgery kept her out of competitive action for over a month.
Kenin struggled on her return to the tour and failed to win a single match on clay leading up to Roland Garros. The 22-year-old, however, has found form in Paris, where she has registered wins over 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko and qualifier Hailey Baptiste to set up a meeting with Pegula.
Jessica Pegula had a sensational start to the season. The American reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and in Dubai, and followed it up with a run to the semifinals in Doha. The 27-year-old's form on clay has not been too shabby either, with the American winning nine of 12 matches on the red dirt.
Pegula looked solid in the first two rounds in Paris, defeating Lin Zhu and Tereza Martincova.
Sofia Kenin vs Jessica Pegula head-to-head
The third-round encounter at Roland Garros will be the fourth match between the pair, with Jessica Pegula leading the head-to-head 2-1.
Pegula won their first two meetings at Dothan in 2016 and Quebec in 2018, but Kenin triumphed in their most recent clash at the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne this year.
Sofia Kenin vs Jessica Pegula prediction
Although injury concerns have derailed most of her season, Sofia Kenin comes into the match as the favorite on paper, given her ranking and ability on the surface.
Kenin's game on clay has improved in recent seasons. She's among the best movers on tour and possesses great variety, with her drop shot proving particularly effective on this surface.
Pegula, meanwhile, has an aggressive baseline game that works best on quicker surfaces. However, the American has still managed to post some solid results on clay this year, including wins against the likes of Naomi Osaka and Sorana Cirstea.
Mentality is going to be key for Kenin on Saturday. The American will need to try and stay calm in the face of Pegula's onslaught. Pegula comes into this contest with plenty of momentum and should have enough in the tank to advance to the fourth rounf.
Prediction: Jessica Pegula to win in three sets.
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