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Roland Garros: Elise Mertens vs Kaia Kanepi preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020 

Elise Mertens during her first round match at the 2020 French Open
Elise Mertens during her first round match at the 2020 French Open
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 29 Sep 2020, 22:29 IST
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Match details

Fixture: (16) Elise Mertens vs Kaia Kanepi

Date: 30 September 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: Second round (Round of 64)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST

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

Elise Mertens vs Kaia Kanepi preview

Belgian's Elise Mertens has been one of the most consistent players on the women's tour in singles and doubles over the past three seasons. She has reached the third round of every Major in singles since 2018 - including the semifinals of the 2018 Australian Open and back-to-back quarterfinals at the US Open in 2019 and 2020.

In doubles she has reached the quarterfinals of the last five Majors, going all the way to the title at the US Open last year. Mertens has been in incredible form in recent weeks, having won 16 of her last 20 matches.

Her opponent, Kaia Kanepi, is a veteran of the tour who turned pro back in 1999. The 35-year-old from Estonia is a former World No. 15 and has been to the quarterfinals of the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open twice each, with several big scalps to her name.

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That said, this is only Kanepi's fourth event of the year (including the Australian Open and the US Open). And her first round win on Monday was just her second of the season.

Elise Mertens vs Kaia Kanepi preview head-to-head

Kaia Kanepi during her first round match at the 2020 French Open
Kaia Kanepi during her first round match at the 2020 French Open

Kaia Kanepi leads the head-to-head over Elise Mertens 1-0. She beat the Belgian in the round of 32 at the Charleston event, in a see-saw 0-6, 6-0, 7-5 battle.

Elise Mertens vs Kaia Kanepi prediction

Elise Mertens reached the quarter-finals of the US Open for a second year in a row
Elise Mertens reached the quarter-finals of the US Open for a second year in a row

Elise Mertens plays a steady consistent game from the baseline, with good court coverage and footwork. Kaia Kanepi on the other hand tends to play more aggressively, and has the heavier groundstrokes between the two players.

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But while she has the big-match experience and has scored several big wins in her career, Kanepi has barely played any matches this year. Moreover, she needed three sets to win her first round match.

Mertens, on the other hand, is riding high on confidence since the tour resumed. Given her recent form and momentum, the Belgian should be expected to get a positive result on Wednesday.

Prediction: Elise Mertens to win in straight sets.

Published 29 Sep 2020, 15:45 IST
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