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Roland Garros: Aryna Sabalenka vs Jessica Pegula preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Aryna Sabalenka at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2019
Aryna Sabalenka at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2019
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 29 Sep 2020, 12:00 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Aryna Sabalenka vs Jessica Pegula

Date: 29 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. 7 pm CEST, 10.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 


Aryna Sabalenka vs Jessica Pegula preview

Jessica Pegula at the 2020 Western & Southern Open
Jessica Pegula at the 2020 Western & Southern Open

Aryna Sabalenka kicks off her Roland Garros campaign with a first-round encounter against Jessica Pegula on Tuesday.

Sabalenka has been in up and down form all year. After a solid start to the year, she won her first title of 2020 in Doha just before the lockdown. However, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been smooth sailing for the Belarusian.

The 22-year-old unexpectedly lost to Coco Gauff in Lexington. She then exited early from the US Open and the Western & Southern Open to round off an underwhelming American hardcourt season.

But on European clay, Sabalenka looked in good nick in Strasbourg last week. She reached the semifinalst at that event, where she lost in a hard-fought match to eventual champion Elina Svitolina.

Sabalenka now faces America's Jessica Pegula, who was in terrific form during the hardcourt season. The 26-year-old went from qualifying straight to the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open, before registering a third round finish at the US Open. Pegula's run helped her break into the top 60 of the world rankings.

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Aryna Sabalenka vs Jessica Pegula head-to-head

The match at Roland Garros will be the second meeting between the two players. Jessica Pegula leads the head-to-head 1-0 over Aryna Sabalenka after she unexpectedly edged the Belarusian 6-2 2-6 6-3 in the third round of the Western & Southern Open last month.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Jessica Pegula prediction

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2020 US Open
Aryna Sabalenka at the 2020 US Open

Aryna Sabalenka comes into the match as the favorite due to her superior ranking and experience.

The Belarusian already has a solid result under her belt at Strasbourg, and the tricky cold-weather conditions in Paris are proving to be useful to players that can hit through the court. Sabaelenka's all-out attack style, backed by her powerful serve and groundstrokes, is perfect for that.

Jessica Pegula, on the other hand, hasn't had much success on clay in the past. But the American will still fancy her chances, given her performances as the underdog over the past few months.

If Sabalenka maintains the form that she showed in Strasbourg and sticks to her attacking brand of tennis with conviction, all of Pegula's defensive prowess may not be enough to stop the onslaught.

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Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.


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Published 28 Sep 2020, 20:30 IST
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