Fixture: (16) Elise Mertens vs Caroline Garcia
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: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Elise Mertens vs Caroline Garcia preview
One of the most active players over the last two months, Mertens has won 17 matches since the resumption of tennis. After reaching the final in Prague and then making deep runs at the Western & Southern Open as well as the US Open, Mertens made a successful transition back to clay by reaching the Rome quarterfinals.
The Belgian has been solid at Roland Garros this week, continuing her impressive run of form with a couple of straight-sets wins. Although she looked a bit shaky in her second round match against Kaia Kanepi, the 24-year-old broke at the right time to seal the match without requiring a decider.
Caroline Garcia, meanwhile, continued her strong run at her home tournament with a win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round. The 2017 quarterfinalist trailed by a break in the first set, but fought back to win it in a tiebreaker before closing out the match in straight sets.
The Frenchwoman had beaten the seeded Anett Kontaveit in the previous round, avenging her Rome defeat at the hands of the Estonian. She is on course to make another deep run at her home Grand Slam.
Elise Mertens vs Caroline Garcia head-to-head
The head-to-head between Elise Mertens and Caroline Garcia currently stands at 2-0 in favor of Garcia. The French player won both the previous meetings in straight sets, with the recent one coming in last year's Fed Cup tie between France and Belgium.
The upcoming match at Roland Garros will, however, be their first ever meeting on clay.
Elise Mertens vs Caroline Garcia prediction
Elise Mertens has been one of the most consistent players on the tour since tennis resumed after the COVID-19 suspension. The Belgian is turning into one of those players you can trust to make a deep run at a big tournament; she has been a consistent fixture in the second week of Slams lately.
Caroline Garcia, meanwhile, has struggled to produce her best tennis over the last two years. Her ranking has taken a huge hit, dropping over 40 places from the one-time high of No. 4 in the world.
But when on her game, the Frenchwoman still has the potential to take down the best players.
Both Mertens and Garcia are quite consistent from the baseline, and play offensive tennis from the back of the court. The Belgian boasts quick lateral movement and can chase down sharp angles, but is not as comfortable at the net.
Caroline Garcia also has a better forehand than Mertens, whose more reliable wing is her backhand.
The Frenchwoman, in fact, has quite the complete game. She is capable of hitting clean winners off either wing, and also finishing points efficiently at the net.
The match looks pretty evenly poised, despite the difference in the ranking between the two players. But Garcia's determination to do well again at her home tournament could see her pull off an upset over the in-form Mertens.
Prediction: Caroline Garcia to win in three sets.Published 01 Oct 2020, 14:30 IST