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Roland Garros: Yulia Putintseva vs Kirsten Flipkens preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Yulia Putintseva faces Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of the French Open
Yulia Putintseva faces Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of the French Open
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 26 Sep 2020, 19:52 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Yulia Putintseva vs Kirsten Flipkens

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

Match timing: 7 pm CEST, 10:30 pm IST

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

Yulia Putintseva vs Kirsten Flipkens preview

Kazakhstan's 23rd seed Yulia Putintseva faces Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the first round of the 2020 French Open on Sunday.

Putintseva has been on a roll in recent weeks, reaching back-to-back quarter-finals at the US Open and Rome. However, concerns remain over her fitness after the 25-year-old was forced to retire due to a lower-back injury in the Italian Open quarter-final against Simona Halep.

Putintseva has been one of the more active players since the resumption of the season and her packed schedule seems to have taken its toll.

Putintseva loves to play on clay though and the French Open is by far her best Grand Slam, having twice reached the last eight in Paris. Having suffered a first-round exit in Paris last year, she will be keen to make a deep run this time around.

Kirsten Flipkens is at home on the faster surfaces
Kirsten Flipkens is at home on the faster surfaces

Putintseva's first-round opponent Flipkens reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2013 but the Belgian former World No. 13 has not had the same success on the Parisian clay, having failed to progress beyond the second round at Roland Garros.

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Now ranked 79 in the world, the 34-year-old Flipkens is in the final years of her career but cannot be counted out as she still has the ability to cause major upsets in big tournaments.

Yulia Putintseva vs Kirsten Flipkens head-to-head

Putintseva
Putintseva's back injury is a concern

The head-to-head between Yulia Putintseva and Kirsten Flipkens currently stands at 2-1 in favor of the Belgian.

Flipkens won the first two meetings but Putintseva emerged victorious in their most recent contest in Miami last year.

Yulia Putintseva vs Kirsten Flipkens prediction

Yulia Putintseva has had some of the best results of her career on clay. One of the best counter-punchers on tour, the Kazakh is consistent from the baseline and does not give her opponents much pace to work with. She also loves finishing points with a drop shot when her opponent is pinned deep behind the baseline.

Kirsten Flipkens, on the other hand, relies on her quickness and agility to gain the upper hand. One of the few players on the women's circuit to consistently serve and volley, Flipkens has a unique game but the lack of a potent weapon has proven to be her undoing on clay quite often.

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But against a player like Putintseva, who does not have the ability to blast opponents off the court, Flipkens' playing style can be successful. The extent of Putintseva's injury could play a major role in the outcome of the match but if the Kazakh is close to full fitness she should be able to pick up the victory.

Prediction: Yulia Putintseva to win in three sets.

Published 26 Sep 2020, 18:44 IST
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