Fixture: Elina Svitolina vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
Date: 2 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel: India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Elina Svitolina vs Ekaterina Alexandrova preview
World No. 5 Elina Svitolina faces off against 27th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round of the 2020 French Open on Friday.
After a shock loss to Marketa Vondrousova in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open last week, Svitolina showed great resolve to bounce back quickly in Strasbourg - where she went all the way. The Ukrainian fought past World No. 18 Elena Rybakina to win the final in three sets, and has arrived in Paris high on confidence.
In her opening match at Roland Garros, Svitolina beat qualifier Varvara Gracheva in straight sets. She then played under a closed roof in her second-round affair against World No. 178 Renata Zarazua, and was bagelled by her opponent in the second set as she struggled with the conditions.
The World No. 5 was able to get herself out of trouble with the help of her accurate first serve, winning the deciding set in a clutch performance. But Svitolina will have to sharpen her game when she takes on Ekaterina Alexandrova in her third-round match.
The 27th-seeded Russian struggled at first after the tour resumption but has been in scintillating form in Paris, easing past Australia's Maddison Inglis in her opening match. The 25-year-old faced another Australian in Astra Sharma in her next match, and won the match with the same scoreline as her first-round match.
Alexandrova had started the year on a strong note, winning her maiden title in Shenzhen and following that up with a third-round appearance at the Australian Open. However, the Russian couldn't do much in her subsequent tournaments before entering Roland Garros.
Elina Svitolina vs Ekaterina Alexandrova head-to-head
The third-round encounter in Paris will be the first-ever career meeting between Elina Svitolina and Ekaterina Alexandrova, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Elina Svitolina vs Ekaterina Alexandrova prediction
Elina Svitolina has been experiencing service issues ever since the WTA Tour resumed in August, something which became apparent during her second-round match against Zarazua. Her serve lacked shape at many points of the match, but the Ukrainian made up for it with her return game.
Svitolina worked hard during the rallies, and showed strong-willed defense from the baseline. But if her serve continues to misfire, she may not be lucky enough to escape against the tougher opponents up ahead.
Ekaterina Alexandrova has not been troubled on the slow clay of Paris at all so far, and has struck winners with relative ease despite the heavy conditions. The Russian is not very consistent with her serve either, but she does have a powerful ground game that can help her dictate a majority of the rallies.
The roof will be another factor in this match-up, and Svitolina might find herself in trouble if the conditions are too heavy.
Prediction: Ekaterina Alexandrova to win in three sets.Published 01 Oct 2020, 21:31 IST