Fixture: Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang
Date: 28 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 - NBC Sport / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang preview
25-year-old Madison Keys is best known for making the final of the 2017 US Open, where she lost to fellow American Sloane Stephens. But Keys, who is known for her big serve and powerful groundstrokes, has also shown she can play on all surfaces.
The American has reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, as well as the semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open.
Keys is currently ranked No. 16 in the world, having reached the final in Brisbane earlier this year. She also reached the third round of the recent US Open, but then chose not to play in any of the tune-up events prior to Paris.
Her opponent is the 31-year-old Shuai Zhang, who has been as high as No. 23 in the past and is currently ranked No. 39.
Zhang has reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and has won two WTA titles as well as two WTA $125K series events. Last year, she won the Australian Open doubles event with Samantha Stosur.
Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang head-to-head
The two players have met on five occasions in the past, and Zhang leads the head-to-head 3-2. However, they haven't played a lot in recent times; their last encounter was back at the 2016 Australian Open.
Four of the five meetings have come on hardcourts, with Zhang leading that series 3-1. Keys won their only encounter on clay - at the 2013 Italian Open in Rome.
Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang prediction
Like most Chinese players, Shuai Zhang plays a very solid baseline game and is able to use her on-the-rise groundstrokes to great effect. Given her lead over Keys in the head-to-head, her game obviously poses a challenge to the American.
Zhang also comes into the event on the back of three claycourt wins in Strasbourg, so she will be a little more adapted to the surface than Keys. However, the former US Open finalist has considerably more firepower on her serve and groundstrokes, which might be particularly effective in the slow and damp conditions this year.
Prediction: Madison Keys to win in three sets.