Fixture: Petra Kvitova vs Leylah Fernandez
Date: 3 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. 5 pm CEST, .30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Petra Kvitova vs Leylah Fernandez preview
There comes a time in several Petra Kvitova matches when, during extreme pressure situations, she runs over to her stand and takes off her headband. It's a ritual that the Czech seems to have been following for years now - inadvertent as it may seem.
Kvitova hasn't done that at this year's French Open yet, which might be indicative of her current form. Unfortunately for her though, great starts to a tournament that fizzle out in the face of one tricky opponent have become a pattern for her in 2020.
Despite splendid beginnings to most events this year, Kvitova has ended up with underwhelming results by her lofty standards. To her credit though, she did buck the trend a couple of times - including that stunning come-from-behind win over Ashleigh Barty in Qatar.
Playing at the final Slam of the year, Kvitova will be looking to repeat that feat here in Paris.
Kvitova is definitely in for a big day on Saturday, against against a tough looking third round opponent in the form of Leylah Fernandez.
The Canadian teenager - a junior winner at the French Open last year - will be contesting her first round of 32 match at a Grand Slam. Her performances in Paris would have only helped her confidence, given that she has already taken out a seed in Magda Linette.
Fernandez did well to come back against Linette, after having dropped the first set 6-1. She showed the same sort of resolve against Polona Hercog, her second round opponent and an evergreen claycourt threat.
The young Canadian has the game to bother the best, and has had great success on the return this week. She has also been mixing things up well, winning a lot of quick points at the net.
Petra Kvitova vs Leylah Fernandez head-to-head
This will be the first time that the two women play each other on tour, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Petra Kvitova vs Leylah Fernandez prediction
This match could prove to be an important step for Petra Kvitova, not only in the context of this tournament but in the larger picture as well. The Czech had gained a notoriety for winning see-saw three-set battles early in her career, but she hasn't had the same success doing that of late.
If she can find a way to maintain her top level for a large part of the match, it could be very difficult for Leylah Fernandez to make inroads.
Kvitova talked about the conscious effort required to play with more spin and avoid missing the lines in her last press conference. That's really what has worked well for her in keeping the errors under check this year, and she needs to continue thinking clearly on the court.
Fernandez on her part will also have to be sharp and ask the questions of Kvitova. She's likely to stick to her gameplan as it has gotten her a good couple of wins, but her skills will be severely tested against the quality groundstrokes of the Czech.
Kvitova will enter this match hoping for an easy straight-sets win, but a tough three-set test may be what's needed to really galvanize the two-time Major winner here in Paris this week.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in three sets.Published 02 Oct 2020, 17:57 IST