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Roland Garros: Maria Sakkari vs Ajla Tomljanovic preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Maria Sakkari during the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros.
Maria Sakkari during the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros.
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Modified 26 Sep 2020, 18:17 IST
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Match Details

Fixture: Maria Sakkari vs Ajla Tomljanović

Date: 27 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

Timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST

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

Maria Sakkari vs Ajla Tomljanović preview

Stefanos Tsitsipas is probably the most well-known Greek tennis player these days, but one of his compatriots on the women's tour - Maria Sakkari - has also made quite a name for herself among tennis fans.

The 25-year-old Sakkari is currently ranked No. 24 in the world, having broken into the top 20 earlier this year. That made her only the second Greek tennis player to do so after Eleni Daniilidou, who had peaked at No. 14 in 2003.

Sakkari is someone who can play on all surfaces. She has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the US Open this year, and has been to the third round of the French Open and Wimbledon in the past.

Sakkari has shown she can compete with the very best, as she scored a massive win over Serena Williams on the American hardcourts last month.

Her opponent is 27-year-old Croatian-born Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, who is currently ranked No. 64 in the world but has been as high as No. 39 in the past. 

Ajla Tomljanovic at the Internazionali BNL D
Ajla Tomljanovic at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia in Rome, Italy.
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Tomljanovic broke into the top 50 way back in 2014, the same year she reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open and the French Open. However, a shoulder injury forced her to miss most of the 2016 season, and she's been struggling for consistency ever since.

Tomljanovic has now managed to come back and return to the top 100, but she doesn't have a lot of strong recent results to boast of.

Maria Sakkari vs Ajla Tomljanovic head-to-head

Maria Sakkari leads the head-to-head between the two players 1-0, having won their Round of 32 clash at the 2017 WTA event in Bol in three sets.

Maria Sakkari vs Ajla Tomljanovic prediction

Maria Sakkari during her win over Serena Williams at the Western & Southern Open.
Maria Sakkari during her win over Serena Williams at the Western & Southern Open.

Maria Sakkari and Ajla Tomljanovic are good friends and have even played doubles together, which might add a slightly different flavor to this encounter.

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Tomljanovic has yet to win a match since the resumption of the tour, going 0 for 6 since early August. Sakkari meanwhile reached the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open, where she defeated Serena Williams. Sakkari also reached the round of 16 at the US Open, where she was beaten by Williams in three sets.

Both players can play aggressively from the baseline, and prefer staying at the back of the court - like the majority of the women on the WTA Tour these days. The match will likely come down to who plays the big points better on the day, although the Greek certainly seems to be in better form and will be more confident of progressing to the second round.

Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in three sets.

Published 26 Sep 2020, 18:05 IST
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