Fixture: Venus Williams vs. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
Date: 27 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
Timing: Approx. 1 pm CEST, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney + Hotstar VIP
Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule
Venus Williams vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova preview
Venus Williams made her Grand Slam debut at the 1997 French Open. More than two decades later, Williams enters the tournament for the 23rd time - which makes this her most attended Grand Slam event.
At the age of 40 and ranked No. 75 in the world, the American would've been forgiven for contemplating retirement right now - especially since she lives with an auto-immune disease that makes her prone to fatigue and joint pain. But there's no sign of that thought yet; Williams soldiers on, purely for the love of the game and for competing.
It has not been the best season so far for the former World No. 1 though. She has won only one match in seven events this year - a first-round win over Victoria Azarenka at the Lexington event.
26-year-old Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, meanwhile, is ranked No. 161 in the world but enters the tournament with a protected ranking. The former World No. 26 prefers playing on hardcourt but says Roland Garros is her favorite tournament - and with good reason too, given that she finished as the runner-up to Annika Beck at the 2012 junior French Open.
Schmiedlova is now on the comeback trail after a knee injury that kept her off the court in the second half of 2019.
"I did many things I was dreaming about when I couldn't play tennis," she told the WTA Tour about her injury break. "I travelled, I took some time off, I had really great preparation after the knee surgery. I did everything I wanted and I was really ready at the beginning of the year to play. I had a lot of energy, I was playing tennis without pain again, and I was especially looking forward to the clay tournaments."
Venus Williams vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova head-to-head
Surprisingly, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova has a 2-1 lead in the head-to-head over Venus Williams. The Slovak defeated Williams in Monterrey earlier this year in three sets, and also at the 2014 French Open in another three-setter.
Venus' only win over the Slovak came at the 2014 Miami Open, in straight sets.
Venus Williams vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova prediction
The cool and heavy Paris autumn will not suit Venus Williams, who prefers playing in much faster conditions. Moreover, she has struggled to win matches this year, even though that has not dampened her enthusiasm for the game.
After a break from the tour last year, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, who is also 14 years younger than Williams, might be the fresher of the two. She will likely be able to hit through the court better than the American, and would have a particularly strong advantage if the match goes the distance.
Prediction: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova to win in three sets.
Follow Sportskeeda to get the latest French Open 2020 Results and SchedulePublished 26 Sep 2020, 20:28 IST