Fixture: Tsvetana Pironkova vs Barbora Krejcikova
Date: 2 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. 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Barbora Krejcikova preview
Tsvetana Pironkova will be looking to make the second week at a second Slam in a row when she steps out on court for her third round match at the French Open on Friday.
Playing in just her second tournament in over three years, the Bulgarian took out former semifinalist Andrea Petkovic in the first round and got a walkover from Serena Williams in the next. Pironkova has done well to adjust to the heavier conditions at this year's tournament, and she is now set to take on Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova in the round of 32.
Krejcikova showcased her claycourt prowess in her opening two matches here in Paris. She scored solid wins against Nina Stojanovic and Barbora Strycova, en route to her first round of 32 appearance at a Slam.
She has also played a lot matches on the clay since the resumption on tour, starting with Prague - where she took the opening set against Simona Halep. Having decided to skip the American hardcourt swing, Krejcikova racked up a lot of match practice in the European ITF circuit.
The Czech - a former World No. 1 in doubles - is an able player at the net. But it is her efficient groundstrokes and return of serve that have made her appear like a mighty opponent on clay these past few weeks.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Barbora Krejcikova head-to-head
Tsvetana Pironkova and Barbora Krejcikova have never crossed paths on tour before, so their current head-to-head stands at 0-0. But given their choice of surface preference, Krejcikova might have a slight edge here.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Barbora Krejcikova prediction
Tsvetana Pironkova definitely has the extra motivation of wanting to do well in consecutive Majors. And if her first couple of performances are anything to go by, she has found her timing on clay rather quickly.
Pironkova's slice and drop shot heavy game seems destined to do well on the damp courts this year. But the Bulgarian will need to work on getting her first serve numbers up from the opening match, because that is her biggest weapon.
It goes without saying that Barbora Krejcikova will get a different look at the ball from her previous matches. Pironkova hits much faster and flatter off the ground, and the Czech will have to find a way to counter that. She will also have to work extra hard to protect her own serve during the crucial moments.
This will likely be a close affair, but given the confidence levels of Pironkova this week, she can be expected to outsmart Krejcikova.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in three sets.