Fixture: Anett Kontaveit vs Caroline Garcia
Date: 27 September 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx €38,000,000
Match timing: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / NBC Sports | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Anett Kontaveit vs Caroline Garcia preview
After having faced each other in the first round of the Italian Open in Rome last week, Anett Kontaveit and Caroline Garcia meet once again in the first round of the French Open in Paris on Sunday.
Kontaveit prevailed over Garcia 6-3 7-6 in that match, but bowed out in the second round against Svetlana Kuznetsova. That brought an end to a string of solid results for the Estonian after the lockdown.
The World No. 21 restarted her season on clay at the Palermo Open in August, where she lost in the final to Fiona Ferro. Following that, Kontaveit reached the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open and the fourth round at the US Open, bowing out to Naomi Osaka on both occasions.
Caroline Garcia, on the other hand, has not been in the best form on either side of the lockdown. A quarterfinal finish in Lyon has been her best result of the 2020 season so far.
But the former French Open quarterfinalist would undoubtedly come into Roland Garros high on confidence, knowing that it is her best Slam. Garcia has always enjoyed playing in front of her home fans, where she was also the doubles champion in 2016.
Anett Kontaveit vs Caroline Garcia head-to-head
The first round encounter at Roland Garros is the fourth between the two players, and Anett Kontaveit leads the head-to-head 2-1 over Caroline Garcia so far.
Before last week's meeting in Rome, the pair had met in the second round at Stuttgart last year, where Kontaveit prevailed in straight sets. However, at Luxembourg in 2016, Garcia got the better of the Estonian in three hard-fought sets.
Anett Kontaveit vs Caroline Garcia prediction
Anett Kontaveit comes into the match as the overwhelming favorite, just as she was in Rome, given her solid form in 2020 and her superior ranking.
That said, while Caroline Garcia may not be playing at the level that she was a few years ago, she stands a chance to cause an upset given that she is very comfortable playing in her home Slam.
Kontaveit's new and improved first serve might come in handy in Paris, given the cold weather and the new, lighter Wilson match balls. Her footwork and measured defensive skills have been on display recently too, making her a formidable opponent in the longer rallies.
Garcia will have to be at her aggressive best against the Estonian, improving her service precision considerably. She will also have to use her stronger forehand wing to test Kontaveit's movement across the court, while at the same time curbing her tendency to hit one too many unforced errors.
All things considered, a repeat of last week's performance in Rome should be enough for Kontaveit to overcome the test from the Frenchwoman.
Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to win in three sets.Published 26 Sep 2020, 18:19 IST