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

Petra Kvitova has made it to the second week of the French Open after a gap of five years.
Petra Kvitova has made it to the second week of the French Open after a gap of five years.
ANALYST
Modified 04 Oct 2020, 20:31 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Petra Kvitova vs Zhang Shuai

Date: 5 October 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: Fourth round (Round of 16)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000

Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST

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

Petra Kvitova vs Zhang Shuai preview

Petra Kvitova has made it to the second week of Roland Garros after a gap of five years. The Czech exhibited some terrific problem-solving skills after trailing Leylah Fernandez 1-5 in the first set of her third-round match, completing a 7-5, 6-3 turnaround to seal her spot in the Round of 16.

The result would be especially pleasing for Kvitova given the bizarre losses faced by other top names like Garbine Muguruza and Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday. Kvitova is now one of only just remaining seeds in the draw, and the favorite to come out of the bottom half.

Petra Kvitova still has her work cut out though as her next round opponent, China's Zhang Shuai, has showcased some fine play over the last week herself.

Zhang Shuai has already scored a few strong wins in the first week.
Zhang Shuai has already scored a few strong wins in the first week.

Zhang started her campaign against a struggling Madison Keys, and did well to handle the booming groundstrokes coming off of the American's racket.

The Chinese continued to work on her own game in her next two matches against Frenchwomen Alize Cornet and Clara Burel. In particular, she posted very clean numbers in that last match against the teenager Burel.

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Zhang will bring in a different sort of energy to the match against Kvitova. She has been winning a lot of points in the frontcourt and would look to use approach shots to take time away from the Czech - a play that her opponent hasn't faced in the first three rounds.

Petra Kvitova has herself tried coming into the net a lot more this week, and if both women follow through with the strategy, it could turn into an interesting battle.

Petra Kvitova vs Zhang Shuai head-to-head

Petra Kvitova is one of the highest remaining seeds in the draw
Petra Kvitova is one of the highest remaining seeds in the draw

Petra Kvitova leads the head-to-head against Zhang Shuai by a 3-2 margin. The two women have split their two previous meetings on clay, with Zhang winning at the 2016 Italian Open, and Kvitova pulling one back in Prague a couple of years ago.

Petra Kvitova vs Zhang Shuai prediction

Petra Kvitova enters this contest as the favorite. Also, as one of the highest seeds remaining in the increasingly open looking draw, she will fancy her chances of a really big result in Paris.

Neither women plays their best tennis on clay, which makes their respective runs here even more impressive. They seem to have well-worked-out strategies coming into this tournament, and the match on Monday would come down to whoever can better execute their plan better.

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Kvitova, in particular, needs to stick to her restrained approach that has helped her channel her attack in a more effective way. If she can manage that and not give much away with errors, the Czech might have too much firepower for Zhang to handle.

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win in two tight sets.

Published 04 Oct 2020, 19:13 IST
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