It’s power vs craft at the French Open as eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka faces the resurgent Daria Kasatkina for a…
It’s power vs craft at the French Open as eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka faces the resurgent Daria Kasatkina for a place in the third round.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Daria Kasatkina | French Open R2 | 1/10/2020, 12pm BSTKasatkina to win 27/20 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Sabalenka vs Kasatkina is live from Roland Garros on Wednesday 30 September, 1pm local/12pm BST
Aryna Sabalenka has never made it to the third round of the French Open – will this be the eighth seed’s year? She takes on Daria Kasatkina on Wednesday.
Kasatkina is a former top-10 player who has been in a prolonged slump, but seems to be pulling out of it despite an unfortunate injury in Rome. Can the Russian signal her return to being a force at the top of the game by taking out Sabalenka to make the last 32?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Sabalenka vs Kasatkina: Head-to-head
Daria Kasatkina won the only previous clash between these two, defeating Sabalenka 6-4, 7-6(5) in Beijing last year.
This will be their first match on clay courts.
Sabalenka vs Kasatkina: Preview
It may not be getting show-court billing, but for me this second-round match between eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina, both former top-10 players, is one of the most intriguing on day five of the French Open.
Sabalenka, currently ranked world no. 12, is a lot closer to her career-high ranking of world no. 9 than Kasatkina is to hers of world no. 10. The Belarusian had her breakthrough run in the summer of 2018, putting together a stunning couple of months which saw her win her maiden title in New Haven and then go on to claim the Premier-5 Wuhan Open title; her breakthrough into the top 10 came a few months later after she won the Shenzhen Open in January 2019. But Sabalenka struggled to replicate her 2019 results over the summer and slipped back out of the top 10, although she didn’t go very far, successfully defending her Wuhan Open title and ending the season by winning her third title of the year in Zhuhai.
Currently 20-9 in 2020, Sabalenka had just won the Qatar Total Open in Doha when the shutdown came, and she wasn’t able to win back-to-back matches in the US when competition resumed. But she had a solid enough run to the semifinals of Strasbourg last week, losing to Elina Svitolina in three sets, before beating Jessica Pegula – who had beaten her in ‘Cincinnati’ – 6-3, 6-1 to open her French Open campaign.
Kasatkina’s breakthrough was in 2018 too, when she made the finals of Dubai and Indian Wells and then the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon, picking up the title in Moscow by the end of the season. But she struggled badly to cope with the expectation, and had a nightmare 13-21 season in which she won back-to-back matches at just two events. As a result, she’s found herself often having to play qualifying in 2020, doing so successfully in Adelaide, Doha and Rome.
A semifinalist in Lyon right before shutdown, Kasatkina’s Rome run through qualifying and into the third round was the first time she’s won four matches in a row since winning the title in Moscow in 2018. Although the players she beat weren’t too impressive – the highest-ranked was Katerina Siniakova, world no. 61 – the tennis she played to beat Siniakova and against Victoria Azarenka in the last 16 was, right up until the point when at 6-6, Kasatkina went over on her ankle and had to retire.
Fortunately the injury was not as serious as it looked, and Kasatkina certainly seemed on song with a 6-2, 6-1 win over French wildcard Harmony Tan, who to be fair did not offer too much resistance. Sabalenka will be tougher; she has the power to hit through these courts, but is not the clay-courter Kasatkina is. I anticipate a tight win for Kasatkina.