Roland Garros: Sofia Kenin vs Irina Bara preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Sofia Kenin
Sofia Kenin
Shruti Sinha
Modified 02 Oct 2020

Match details

Fixture: (4) Sofia Kenin vs Irina Bara

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. 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST


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

Sofia Kenin vs Irina Bara preview

Fourth seed and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin will be eyeing a place in the last 16 of the French Open 2020 when she takes on the Romanian qualifier Irina Bara the third round on Saturday.

Kenin's performances on the tour resumption haven't been as great as those in the first two months of the season, but she has shown plenty of fighting spirit. The 21-year-old has been struggling over the last couple of months, with her best performance being a Round of 16 appearance at the US Open.

That has been reflected in the World No. 6's Roland Garros journey so far too, as she needed three sets to win each of her matches against Liudmila Samsonova and Ana Bogdan. But even though we haven't seen the cleanest ball-striking from Kenin, the Moscow-born American has willed herself to win every time, showing the quality of a champion.

Irina Bara
Irina Bara

Irina Bara, meanwhile, had never played a Grand Slam main draw match before Roland Garros 2020. In the first round this year she played a very clean match to upset the 26th seed Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-4. The 142nd-ranked Romanian then made her way into the third round when former French Open quarter-finalist Alison Van Uytvanck retired with Bara leading 6-1, 4-0.

For someone who plies her trade mostly on the ITF circuit, this has been a very encouraging show.

Bara, whose highest ranking has been 139, had her best performance of the season at an ITF $80,000 event in France - where she lost the final to top seed Sara Sorribes Tormo. Her only other noteworthy display came at the WTA International event in Lyon, where she won three matches from qualifying to reach the Round of 16.

With a Grand Slam breakthrough coming after such a long wait, the 25-year-old would be desperately looking to use this as a springboard for bigger achievements in the future.

Sofia Kenin vs Irina Bara head-to-head

Sofia Kenin holds the upper hand in this rivalry with a 1-0 lead in their head-to-head record. Their sole meeting so far happened at the 2018 Harlee's Pro Classic in Dothan, USA on the ITF women's circuit. A young Kenin needed three sets to see off Irina Bara, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Sofia Kenin vs Irina Bara prediction

In terms of rankings and experience of playing on the big stage, Sofia Kenin has a healthy edge over Irina Bara. Not only does Kenin possess the ability to hit through the court, she also has exceptional touch and finesse - something she displayed time and again in her last match against Ana Bogdan.


Kenin will keep relentlessly going for drop shots whenever she finds her opponent pinned to the baseline. And Bara, who is known for hitting topspin groundstrokes from the baseline, certainly won't enjoy that.

But Kenin isn't infallible on this surface, especially when she loses her patience and tries to rush through the points. That is when Bara could sniff her chance of making a mark and extending one of the sets.

Prediction: Sofia Kenin to win in two tight sets.

Published 02 Oct 2020, 16:13 IST
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