French Open 2021 – Top Five Women’s Potential First Week Matchups
The big surprise in the first couple of days was Naomi Osaka pulling out of the French Open after a standoff with event organizers over her reluctance to participate in press conferences. The whole affair can’t be good for the sport. I hope both organizers and Osaka can resolve their issues, so that we can get Osaka back for Wimbledon. Nevertheless, if there was a tournament for her to step out of, it is the French Open. Osaka has historically struggled on the clay. Hard courts are where she shines.
The biggest news should have been Muguruza losing to Kostyuk so easily, 1-6, 4-6. However, I’ve been watching Kostyuk for a bit of time now, and I’m not surprised. I expect big things from Kostyuk this year. There will be other great possible upsets this week, especially in the third and fourth rounds. Here are some of the best potential upsets in the first week:
4th Round Barty (1) vs. Gauff (24)
Barty better bring her best if she is to get past Coco Gauff. Coco is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. She picked up her second career title in Parma this last week. She’s playing well on the clay. A win for Gauff would be career-defining.
3rd Round Pegula (28) vs. Kenin (4)
Pegula has quickly become one of the top players on tour, posting great results since her Australian Open run. She’s a late bloomer with tons of game. Kenin on the other hand has been relatively quiet. She plays well on clay though and made it all the way to the final last year. This matchup promises to be a very cerebral one. Both these players are smart and crafty.
3rd Round Swiatek (8) vs. Kontaveit (30)
Kontaveit has been an underachiever in my opinion. When Kontaveit is playing well, she can beat anyone in the world. She’ll be a good test for the French Open favorite, Iga Swiatek, who has been unstoppable on the red clay.
3rd Round Williams (7) vs. Collins
Collins is unseeded and returning to the tour after a slight layoff. Williams is searching for her 24th Grand Slam title. Both these players can hit the cover off the ball. Expect lots of short rallies and some heavy-hitting in this contest.
3rd Round Cirstea vs. Bencic (10)
Cirstea is having a little bit of a late-career resurgence. This former top 20 player captured the Istanbul title and made the finals Strasburg during the clay-court swing. Bencic is a heck of a player who has not performed well on the clay as of late. Cirstea has a good chance to continue her fine form if she can get through Bencic.
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