Fixture: Petra Kvitova vs Oceane Dodin
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: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Petra Kvitova vs Oceane Dodin preview
Petra Kvitova is all set to open her French Open campaign against World No. 118 and home favorite Oceane Dodin on Day 2 of the championships.
The Czech star withdrew from the premier event in Rome, and enters the claycourt Slam with virtually no match practice on the surface. Her last outing, at the US Open, ended in a heartbreaking fourth-round loss to Shelby Rogers, and Kvitova will now be looking to redeem herself.
She will have very little time to get settled in the vastly different conditions though. And her big-hitting opponent will not make things easy for her either.
Oceane Dodin made a solid return to the tour at the start of March, reaching the quarterfinals in Lyon where she stretched Australian Open champ Sofia Kenin to three sets. She has, however, struggled for consistency ever since.
After a forgettable few weeks on the American swing, Dodin returned to compete on the European clay. She managed to reach a couple of ITF quarterfinals, but had to retire in her last one just about a week ago.
An injury concern could spell big trouble for Dodin, who doesn't play her best tennis on clay. Her big serve and groundstrokes are her major weapons, but she won't be getting too far with those if she isn't fully fit.
The trying conditions could be very difficult for even the fittest of players. Whether Dodin will be able to cope, especially against a power-packed opponent like Kvitova, remains to be seen.
Petra Kvitova vs Oceane Dodin head-to-head
The two women have never crossed paths on tour before, so their current head-to-head stands at 0-0. Even so, Kvitova will be a firm favorite heading into this one owing to the sheer difference in big-match experience between the two.
Petra Kvitova vs Oceane Dodin prediction
The match holds a huge amount of significance for Petra Kvitova, who has looked in fairly good touch all year. The Czech has just lacked the finishing touches in a few of her big matches, and will be looking to change that trend at the French Open.
For Oceane Dodin, it will be important to stay close to Kvitova early given the clean starts that her opponent has had all year. The youngster will need to stay strong on her own serve, and wait for the right opportunity to put pressure on Kvitova.
The Czech star has done extremely well to temper her game over the years, giving herself more margin on the groundstrokes and adding topspin to her shots - all to avoid undue unforced errors. But when she is put under pressure, Kvitova occasionally goes back to her natural gung-ho style of hitting - and that's where the troubles lie for her.
The Czech will have to show restraint, and resist the temptation of looking for easy outs. It's important that she executes her gameplay patiently, not just for this one match but the entire tournament. If she can manage that, she is as good a contender as any.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in straight sets.Published 27 Sep 2020, 20:41 IST