Agnieszka Radwanska vs Alize Cornet, Roland Garros R3 Preview

Roland Garros, ??? R3 Preview + Prediction
(9) ?? Agnieszka Radwanska vs ?? Alize Cornet

A blockbuster third round clash in Paris sees the ninth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska come up against Alize Cornet and the vocal Parisian crowd. Radwanska and Cornet have played out a few epic, marathon matches in the past but Radwanska has always had the edge over the Frenchwoman. Radwanska holds a 7-1 head-to-head record over Cornet, interestingly Saturday’s third round match at Roland Garros will be their first meeting on a clay court since 2008, a surface that gives Cornet the best chance of a causing an upset. This should be a very entertaining clash between two of the craftiest players on tour, a fourth round appearance would be huge for both ladies given their struggles throughout the year.

There were a lot of question marks surrounding Agnieszka Radwanska heading into Paris, the Pole spent a while away from the tour after missing both Madrid and Rome for the first time in a while. Radwanska started the tournament with a routine 6-1 6-1 win over French wild card Fiona Ferro. Radwanska was given a much greater test in the second round, forced to come from a set down to defeat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-7 6-2 6-3. Radwanska looked flat and under pressure throughout the opening set but finally got her game going in the second set and was good enough to edge past Van Uytvanck. Radwanska will need to play at a higher level if she is to advance any further at her least successful Grand Slam event.

Alize Cornet has also been unable to find her best results in season 2017. However, in front of her home crowd Cornet is gaining momentum in Paris after a couple of victories over some tough opponents. Cornet started the event in typically dramatic fashion, Cornet squandered a set and a break lead to be pushed to a deciding set where she rebounded strongly to claim a 6-2 6-7 6-2 victory over Timea Babos. Cornet backed up that victory by eliminating the 20th seeded Barbora Strycova courtesy of a strong 6-4 6-1 victory. Cornet loves the big stage and will relish the opportunity to play Radwanska at home in front of a big crowd, seemingly the scene of a potential upset.

Agnieszka Radwanska holds a 7-1 head-to-head record over Alize Cornet. These head-to-head stats are a bit deceiving as the match-up is usually closer than that record suggest, also Cornet has beaten Radwanska in unofficial matches such as at the Hopman Cup. The most recent match between the two took place last year in Miami, Radwanska smashed Cornet 6-0 6-1. Their last seven matches have all been on a hard court, it will be interesting to see how their next match plays out on clay court, a surface that should give Cornet a better chance at victory.

This is an interesting contest given both ladies have generally struggled in 2017. I think Cornet has a good chance of causing an upset here. It seems like Cornet is closer to playing her best tennis than Radwanska is, plus the surface certainly favours Cornet. Radwanska doesn’t have much behind her shots at the moment and is going to have to work very hard for every point, the same could be said for Cornet but the Frenchwoman has more behind her shots and will have an opportunity to dictate more often than not. Radwanska looks fragile at the moment, both mentally and physically, if Cornet can keep her composure and execute her game she should be able to come through this one.

Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat (9) Agnieszka Radwanska in 3 sets


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