🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, R1 Preview 🇪🇸 (19) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend
Garbine Muguruza kick-starts her 2019 Roland Garros campaign with an opening round clash against America’s Taylor Townsend. The pressure is on the 2016 Roland Garros champion who is defending semi-finalist points from last year, an early round exit in Paris for Muguruza will see her already depleted ranking drop even further, down to a low she has not experienced in a long time by the former world number 1.
Garbine Muguruza’s preparation for the second Grand Slam of the year has been less than ideal. Muguruza suffered an opening round exit in Madrid where she was upset by Petra Martic in straight sets before she was forced to retire injured in her third round match with Victoria Azarenka in Rome due to a left thigh injury. Nevertheless, Roland Garros has been Muguruza’s most successful tournament in her career and she usually seems to find a good level here no matter what the circumstances are in the lead up to the tournament.
Taylor Townsend has been languishing at the ITF level over the last little while where her results have been less than impressive. The good news for Townsend is that she has progressed past the opening round in Paris in the last 3 years, something she has never achieved at any other major. Townsend’s heavy, versatile game can make her a dangerous opponent on this surface.
This will be the first career meeting between Muguruza and Townsend, will the American’s awkward game cause the former champion any troubles?
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🇦🇺 Australian Open, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (5) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend
Sloane Stephens is the great unknown heading into the 2019 Australian Open. The 2017 US Open champion begins her Melbourne Park campaign with an opening round match-up against Taylor Townsend. At her best, Stephens is a genuine contender for the title, however, on current form she is no guarantee to get through this potentially tough first round match with Townsend.
Stephens has made a typically lackluster start to the season. Stephens started the year in Brisbane where she looked lethargic in a straight set loss to Johanna Konta. Stephens fought harder in Sydney, the American came from a set down to beat Ekaterina Alexandrova in a final set tiebreak in the first round but was unceremoniously dumped from the tournament by Yulia Putintseva in the second round. Stephens led Putintseva by a set and 5-3 before being forced to a deciding set where she did not win a single game.
Taylor Townsend will be searching for her first main draw victory at Melbourne Park on Monday when she takes on the 5th seed. Townsend has only played 1 match in 2019, a decent showing but a loss nevertheless. Townsend was beaten in 3 tight sets at the opening round stage in Auckland by Barbora Strycova.
This will be the first career meeting between Stephens and Townsend.
Which Sloane Stephens will show up to Melbourne Park?
To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here
ASB Classic, Auckland R2 Preview
(4) 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska vs 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend
Agnieszka Radwanska scraped through her opening match of the season at the ASB Classic in Auckland. The former champion found herself down early in the deciding set but rallied to complete a 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory over Beatriz Maia Haddad. Radwanska will face another tough test when she comes up against America’s Taylor Townsend on Wednesday evening. This will be the first career meeting between the pair.
Agnieszka Radwanska looked in big trouble in her opening match of the year. Radwanska was down a break to Beatriz Maia Haddad early in the third set after falling away in the second set. Radwanska found her groove and eventually overwhelmed her inexperienced Brazilian opponent, the 4th seed claimed an important 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory. Radwanska will be hoping for a more consistent performance in her second round match with Taylor Townsend, Townsend’s impressive opening round performance suggests this will be another tough match for Radwanska.
Taylor Townsend moved into the second round in Auckland courtesy of an impressive comeback victory over Christina McHale. Townsend looked down and out early in the second set, Townsend trailed McHale 1-6 0-3. However, the 21-year-old really lifted her game and ultimately claimed a hard-fought 1-6 6-4 6-4 victory. Townsend’s serve was extremely effective in the deciding set, Townsend did not face a break point and did not even look like giving McHale a look into her service games.
This will be the first career clash between Radwanska and Townsend. It should be an entertaining clash between two very contrasting styles of tennis. The power of Townsend against the touch and experience of Radwanska. Who will prevail In this exciting clash?
Western & Southern Open, 🇺🇸🌉 Cincinnati R1 Preview + Prediction (Q) 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend vs (Q) 🇵🇷 Monica Puig
Monica Puig has had an extremely disappointing season, time is running out for Puig to turn things around in 2017. The 2016 Rio Olympics show that Puig can turn things on at any moment, Puig comes up against Taylor Townsend in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday. Townsend and Puig both reached the main draw in Cincinnati by progressing through a tough qualifying draw. This will be the first career meeting between Townsend and Puig.
Miami Open, 🇺🇸🌴🐬 R3 Match Preview (7) 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs (Q) 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend
2016 Miami runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova continues her quest to go one step better in 2017 when she faces Taylor Townsend in the third round of the Miami Open on Sunday. Kuznetsova is in great form having reached the final in Indian Wells last week and enjoys the conditions in Miami. Her opponent on Sunday, Taylor Townsend is playing some of her best tennis in recent times and will dangerous heading into this match with nothing to lose.
Miami Open, 🇺🇸🌴🐬 R2 Match Preview (25) 🇮🇹 Roberta Vinci vs (Q) 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend
An interesting first-time match-up sees Roberta Vinci and Taylor Townsend go head-to-head in the second round of the Miami Open. Roberta Vinci will be beginning her Miami Open campaign after receiving a bye into the second round, whilst Taylor Townsend has already won three matches after coming through the qualifying draw. Roberta Vinci has struggled to find her best tennis in 2017 and has a poor recent record in Miami, however with experience on her side this is a match Vinci would expect to be winning.
Roland Garros, Second Round (18) 🇺🇦 Elina Svitolina vs (wc) 🇺🇸 Taylor Townsend
Elina Svitolina will be aiming to replicate her stunning 2015 run to the quarter-final at Roland Garros in 2016. Svitolina made a strong start to her 2016 campaign with a crushing straight set win over Sorana Cirstea on Tuesday, Svitolina will look to build on that win when she comes up against Taylor Townsend in the second round on Thursday.
Elina Svitolina progressed to the second round in Paris courtesy of a surprisingly straightforward 6-1 6-3 win over a previously in form Sorana Cirstea. Svitolina’s form in the lead up to Roland Garros was quite poor, Elina managed to claim just 1 victory in three clay court tournaments prior to Paris. That poor form counted for little on Tuesday, the Ukrainian was far too good for an erratic Cirstea. Elina never once looked threatened as she finished the match with 20 winners to just 8 unforced errors. Elina is once again working with Justine Henin this week and now has a good opportunity to advance to the third round when she comes up against Taylor Townsend on Thursday.
Taylor Townsend is through to the second round of a Grand Slam for just the second time thanks to a commanding 6-2 6-1 win over Amandine Hesse. Townsend was far too powerful, blasting 20 winners past Hesse and winning 20 of 21 points behind first serve. Maintaining a high first serve percentage will key for Townsend’s chances when she comes up against Svitolina on Thursday.
This will be the first career meeting between Svitolina and Townsend. I suspect Svitolina will be far too solid for Townsend on this occasion. Townsend has a powerful game but Svitolina is one of the best movers on tour and will force Townsend to play more shots than she would like to. Townsend has not played a top 30 player for well over a year and is likely to struggle against in this match-up. Last year’s quarter-finalist should win this match quite comfortably.
Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Taylor Townsend in 2 sets
Two time defending champion Serena Williams breezed past compatriot Taylor Townsend 6-3 6-1 in just under an hour in her opening round match at Flushing Meadows. Playing in her first ever US Open main draw, wild card Taylor Townsend started well enough but her lack of experience became increasingly apparent as the match wore on. Serena was untroubled on serve, the world number 1 did not face a break point as she won 88 percent of first serves and 85 percent of her second serves.
Townsend started the match off well with a commanding service hold. However a determined Serena quickly clicked into gear, breaking in the third game and then never looked back. Taylor did remain within striking distance for the entire opening set, however she was unable get herself into one of Serena's service games. Serena took the couple of chances that came her way, breaking in the ninth game to take the opening set 6-3.
Serena clearly meant business in the second set, determined to get off court as quickly as possible. Serena didn't let her concentration slip at any stage during the match, the odd errors she did hit clearly frustrated the world number 1. Serena eventually took the second set 6-1 in just 26 minutes, clearly determined to win her sixth US open title and first of Slam of the year.