Fixture: (4) Sofia Kenin vs Liudmila Samsonova
Date: 29th 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: Approx. 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC/Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule
Sofia Kenin vs Liudmila Samsonova preview
Fourth seed Sofia Kenin meets World No. 125 Liudmila Samsonova on Tuesday for a spot in the second round of the 2020 French Open.
Having started the 2020 season in thunderous fashion with titles at the Australian Open and Lyon, Sofia Kenin has somewhat failed to match those highs since the resumption of the tour. The World No. 6 hasn't managed to reach a quarterfinal in the three tournaments she has played, losing her first match in two of those events.
One of those events was the Italian Open last week, where she suffered an ignominious 0-6, 0-6 defeat at the hands of US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka.
Kenin desperately needs to regroup, and given that clay is not the surface she is most comfortable with, she would require a little bit of help from her opponents.
Her first-round opponent at Roland Garros 2020 - Liudmila Samsonova - could provide her with exactly that. The 21-year-old Russian is entering the claycourt Major on the back of a three-match losing streak.
Samsonova hasn't been able to produce a noteworthy result all season. Her best performances have been a couple of pre-quarterfinal appearances, at Brisbane and Palermo.
Since her outing at Palermo in August, Samsonova has lost four out of five matches. That isn't ideal preparation before facing a Slam champion in the first round of a Major.
Sofia Kenin vs Liudmila Samsonova head-to-head
Sofia Kenin and Liudmila Samsonova have never faced each other on the WTA tour, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
While Kenin has had a career-high ranking of No. 4 with five titles to her name, Samsonova's best ranking so far has been No. 114 - which she achieved in February. Moreover, the Russian is yet to taste title glory on the WTA tour.
Sofia Kenin vs Liudmila Samsonova prediction
Sofia Kenin and Liudmila Samsonova are evenly matched in terms of their power-packed, aggressive style of play. The match will see a lot of solid hitting from the baseline, but it is Kenin's experience of playing big matches that will likely make the difference.
The 2019 French Open pre-quarterfinalist has an innate understanding of the game and knows when to pull the trigger and when to slow it down. She will look to mix things up on Tuesday to interrupt her opponent's rhythm.
This would be the perfect match for the American to gauge her game as she looks to come back to form.
Prediction: Sofia Kenin to win in straight sets.
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