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Roland Garros: Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Madison Keys at the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros
Madison Keys at the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 27 Sep 2020, 21:14 IST
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Match details

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

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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.

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys after the 2017 US Open final which Stephens won
Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys after the 2017 US Open final which Stephens won

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.

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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.

Shuai Zhang celebrates her fourth round win over Madison Keys at the 2016 Australian Open
Shuai Zhang celebrates her fourth round win over Madison Keys 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.

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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.

Published 27 Sep 2020, 16:17 IST
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