Elina Svitolina vs. Caroline Garcia, Roland Garros R4 Preview

??? Roland Garros, R4 preview + prediction:
?? (3) Elina Svitolina vs. ?? Caroline Garcia

A blockbuster fourth round clash at Roland Garros on Sunday sees the 3rd seeded Elina Svitolina come up against a resurgent Caroline Garcia. It is Svitolina who heads into this clash as the favourite despite holding a problematic 1-3 head-to-head record against the Frenchwoman. Garcia has already beaten a couple of seeded opponents on route to the round of 16 and will have her eyes set on another big scalp on Day 8.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action during the third round at the 2020 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina has now won 7 matches in a row on the red dirt in France. The world number 5 arrived in Paris fresh from winning her 15th title in Strasbourg. The third seed didn’t have things easy through the first week at Roland Garros, a 7-6 6-4 win over Varvara Gracheva was followed by a 6-3 0-6 6-2 victory over Renata Zarazua. Svitolina booked her spot in the round 16 in Paris for the 4th time with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over the 27th seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Caroline Garcia has flipped the script on her poor from in the lead up to her home major. Garcia started the tournament with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 upset victory over the 17th seeded Anett Kontaveit before getting the job done against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a 7-6 6-2 win. Garcia booked her spot in the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the 3rd time with another upset win, a 1-6 6-4 7-5 win over the 16th seeded Elise Mertens. Garcia now has an opportunity to equal her best run at a major by reaching the quarterfinals, just as she did in Paris in 2017.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during the third round at the 2020 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia has won the last 3 matches between the pair, interestingly Garcia won all 3 matches despite losing the opening set in a tiebreaker. The most recent match between the pair was in Stuttgart in 2018, Garcia won 6-7 6-4 6-2. Garcia also won a couple of tight matches over the Ukrainian at the later stages of 2017 in Beijing and at the WTA Finals.

I’m going to side with Svitolina despite her negative record against Garcia. Svitolina was beaten by Garcia’s absolute best tennis in their 3 previous matches, all of which took place in favourable conditions for the Frenchwoman at a time where Garcia was in career best form. On this occasion a heavy clay court will give Svitolina more opportunity to get into extended rallies and to grind down her opponent. The conditions also give Svitolina more of an opportunity to pass Garcia at the net. Svitolina has defeated several big hitters over the last few weeks, wins over Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and Ekaterina Alexandrova are great preparation for the heavy hitting for will face against Garcia. Svitolina is too solid to make the same mistake for the 4th time in a row.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Caroline Garcia in 3 sets

Caroline Garcia vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Roland Garros R2 Preview

??? Roland Garros, R2 preview + prediction:
?? Caroline Garcia vs. ?? Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Caroline Garcia was one of the big winners on day 1 in Paris when she claimed an upset win over the 17th seeded Anett Kontaveit. Garcia will be back in action on day 4 when she comes up against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a spot in the round of 32 up for grabs. Garcia has won 3 of the previous meetings between the pair and will enter this clash as the favourite.

Roland Garros has been Caroline Garcia’s most successful major, a quarter-finalist in 2017 (her best result at a major) and a fourth round appearance in 2018. Garcia was a big underdog heading into her opening round match but defied the odds to claim a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory over the 17th seeded Anett Kontaveit. Garcia has now illustrated her danger on the big stage a couple of times since the tour restart, she Frenchwoman eliminated the top seeded Karolina Pliskova at the US Open earlier this month, a danger to any opponent on any surface when she is on top of her game.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich moved into the second round in Paris courtesy of a 6-2 2-6 6-3 victory against Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam. Sasnovich will be hoping it’s third time lucky as she aims to reach the round of 32 for the first time in her third appearance in the second round. Clay has traditionally been Sasnovich’s least successful surface, her flat game-style is better suited to a quick surface.

Garcia holds a 3-0 head-to-head record over Sasnovich. The last couple of meetings between the pair were close 3 set matches, both in 2018, 6-3 5-7 6-2 at the Australian Open, followed by a 6-7 6-2 6-4 victory in New Haven. All 3 of their previous meetings were on a hard court with Garcia also beating the Belarusian in straight sets in Tokyo in 2017.

I will side with Garcia here. Garcia looked strong in her opening round win over Kontaveit. This is a match Garcia should be winning. The Frenchwoman clearly has what it takes in this match-up having won all 3 of their previous meetings, her advantage should be amplified on clay. Garcia has all the weapons to play great on clay, whilst Sasnovich’s game is better suited to quick surfaces. Garcia’s superior firepower and greater versatility give her the clear edge here.

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Aliaksandra Sasnovich in 2 sets

Karolina Pliskova vs. Caroline Garcia, US Open R2 Preview

2020 US OPEN – R2 preview + prediction: ??
?? (1) Karolina Pliskova vs. ?? Caroline Garcia

Arguably the most intriguing second round match-up from the 2020 US Open sees the top seeded Karolina Pliskova take on the always-dangerous Caroline Garcia. Pliskova enters this match as a strong favourite but is unlikely to have things all her own way in a match-up that she has previously struggled in. A danger match for the top seed early in the tournament.

The 2020 US Open is perhaps Karolina Pliskova’s greatest chance to finally win a major title. Pliskova was the runner-up at Flushing Meadows in 2016 and will hoping she can go one step further in a weakened field with many of her main rivals not in attendance. Pliskova made a good start to the tournament with a 6-4 6-0 win over Anhelina Kalinina but will face a much, much tougher test in the next round.

The US Open has historically been Caroline Garcia’s least successful major, the only major that the Frenchwoman hasn’t reached the second week in singles. Nevertheless, Garcia made a solid start to her 2020 campaign at Flushing Meadows with an easy 6-3 6-2 win over Jasmine Paolini.

The head-to-head record between Pliskova and Garcia is split at 3 wins apiece. The most recent meeting between the pair saw Garcia emerge victorious in the 2018 Tianjin final, a 7-6 6-3 win for Garcia. All 6 of the previous meetings between the pair were tight matches, 3 of them went the distance, the other 3 were very close 2 set matches.

I’m going to go for the upset here. Garcia has what it takes to bring down the top seeded Pliskova. Garcia’s strong return of serve is the problem for Pliskova in this match-up, Garcia’s ability to handle the Pliskova serve is greater than most on tour, importantly Garcia can also manage her own service games nicely in this match-up. Meanwhile, Garcia has the greater flare and variety from the baseline and a stronger game at the net. The quick surface will give Garcia the chance to dominate and to rush Pliskova with her early ball striking and ability to quickly move up the court. The pressure is all on Pliskova in this match, another factor working in Garcia’s favour. Upset alert!

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets
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Sloane Stephens vs. Carolina Garcia, CincyTennis R1 Preview

?? Western & Southern Open – R1 Preview
?? (wc) Sloane Stephens vs. ?? Caroline Garcia

An opening round battle between two former top 5 players at the Western & Southern Open sees Sloane Stephens come up against Caroline Garcia. Stephens and Garcia have followed similar downward spirals over the last few years, but both are undoubtedly top players on their day, who will prevail here?

Stephens made a typically disappointing start on her resumption to the tour a few weeks ago with a straight set opening round loss to Leylah Fernandez in Lexington. Perhaps being back at Flushing Meadows will inspire Stephens, the destination of her greatest result when she won the US Open back in 2017, a result that seems like a lifetime ago.

Garcia will be playing her first match back since the tour restart, her first official match in over 5 months. The Frenchwoman has spent the last few months training hard at the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy, it will be interesting to see what type of level Garcia can produce here.

Garcia holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Stephens. The Frenchwoman won the most recent match between the pair, a 6/1 7/6 victory in Rome in 2018.

I’m going to side with Garcia here. Stephens was awful in her opening round match in Lexington and still seems to be in a bad place on court. Expect a rejuvenated Garcia to be too strong for the sluggish American. If Garcia remains patient from the baseline, she should be able to pick her moments to move forward and punish Stephens who has a tendency to drop back behind the baseline when lacking confidence, which is the case at the moment. An attacking Garcia is the more dangerous prospect.

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Sloane Stephens in 3 sets

Caroline Garcia vs. Victoria Azarenka, Miami R2 Preview

??? Miami Open, R2 Preview
?? (19) Caroline Garcia vs. ?? Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka continues her Miami Open campaign with a second round match-up against the 19th seeded Caroline Garcia on Thursday. Azarenka is starting to build some momentum in season 2019, the former Miami champion started the tournament with a gutsy 3 set win over Dominika Cibulkova and will fancy her chances against the out of form Frenchwoman.

Garcia has generally made a very poor start to the season and is in desperate need of a big win. Garcia has only won 3 tour level matches this year, only one of those was against an opponent in the top 100. Garcia has already lost to Jennifer Brady on 3 occasions this year, including in her opening round match-up with the American in Indian Wells a few weeks ago, simply not good enough given Garcia’s potential.

Azarenka is on the rise. The Belarusian has had a good couple of weeks and is seemingly on the verge of going on a deep run at a big tournament, perhaps here in Miami. Azarenka showed glimpses of her best in her last few events in Acapulco and Indian Wells, especially in her epic contest with Serena Williams in Indian Wells. The former number 1 was forced to dig deep in a rough opening round match-up with Dominika Cibulkova in Miami, Azarenka eventually came out on top 6-2 3-6 6-4.

It was Garcia who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-4 7-5 victory in Cincinnati last year.

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Caroline Garcia vs. Danielle Collins, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open, R3 Preview
?? (19) Caroline Garcia vs. ?? Danielle Collins

The 19th seeded Caroline Garcia and America’s Danielle Collins will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the third round stage of the Australian Open on Friday. Garcia heads into this clash as a strong favourite, Garcia is the far more established player, especially at this level but Collins has made a habit of defying the odds and will fancy her chances here.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Garcia has cruised into the third round at Melbourne with a couple of straight set wins. Garcia started the event with a 6-2 6-3 win over Jessika Ponchet before defeating Zoe Hives 6-3 6-3. In truth Garcia has had a very favourable draw and that continues in the next round with a match-up against the unseeded Collins.

Danielle Collins arrived at Melbourne Park having never won a Grand Slam main draw match. The American’s first win at a Grand Slam was a special one, a 2-6 7-6 6-4 win over the 14th seeded Julia Goerges. Collins back-up her win over the German nicely with a reasonably comfortable 6-3 7-5 win over Sachia Vickery.

This will be an interesting match-up because of the contrasting styles between the pair, the class of Garcia against the scrappy American. Can Collins cause another big upset to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time?

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Aryna Sabalenka vs. Caroline Garcia, Zhuhai RR preview + prediction

?? WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai – RR preview + prediction
?? (3) Aryna Sabalenka vs. ?? (8) Caroline Garcia

The final match from the orchid group sees Aryna Sabalenka take on Caroline Garcia in Zhuhai. Sabalenka started her Zhuhai campaign with a straight set win over Ashleigh Barty whilst Garcia suffered a straight set loss at the hands of Barty in her first match of the week. Sabalenka’s destiny is in her own hands, a win and she is through, a loss and she may still go through but It will come down to games/sets won.

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Sabalenka has won both of the previous matches between the pair, both came in similar fashion, both on a hard court in 2018. Garcia got into a match winning positions in both of those matches but crumbled when it mattered most. Sabalenka beat Garcia 5-7 7-6 6-0 in Beijing a a few months ago in their most recent match. I have to side with Sabalenka again here given their H2H record and the form of the pair so far this week in Zhuhai. Sabalenka has generally been one of the best payers on tour over the last few months whilst Garcia continues to be disappointing.

Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to defeat Caroline Garcia in 2 sets

Caroline Garcia vs. Ashleigh Barty, Zhuhai RR preview + prediction

WTA Elite Trophy – Zhuhai RR preview + prediction
?? (8) Caroline Garcia vs. ?? (9) Ashleigh Barty

Caroline Garcia and Ashleigh Barty will go head-to-head for just the second time when they do battle in Zhuhai on Thursday. Barty started her Zhuhai campaign a few days ago with a straight set loss to Aryna Sabalenka whilst Garcia will be in action for the first time this week. Barty’s first-up loss means she is virtually eliminated whilst a win for Garcia will set-up a showdown with Sabalenka for a spot in the semi-finals.

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It was Garcia who emerged victorious in the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-7 7-6 6-2 victory in the Wuhan final last year. This is an interesting match-up because both players are very versatile and love to move up the court where they are very handy at the net. Both have are solid behind their serve and have strong weapons from the baseline. What gives Garcia the edge is her stronger return of serve and greater firepower from the baseline. Expect Garcia to win in a close one.

Prediction: Caroline Garcia to defeat Ashleigh Barty in 3 sets

Caroline Garcia vs. Johanna Konta, US Open R1 Preview

??? US OPEN: R1 Preview
?? (6) Caroline Garcia vs. ?? Johanna Konta

A blockbuster first round clash in New York sees the 6th seeded Caroline Garcia take on British number 1: Johanna Konta. This is a brutal opening round draw for both, Konta is certainly one of the most dangerous unseeded players in this year’s US Open draw. Konta has had the edge in this match-up of late, winning 3 of the last 4 matches between the pair, but Garcia has generally been the more impressive of the two of late.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia brings decent form into the final Grand Slam of the year. Garcia had a couple of good wins in Montreal and New Haven where she reached the quarter-finals. Garcia is undoubtedly capable of causing a lot of damage at the highest level but she still struggles with inconsistency. Garcia has made it to the third round in the last couple of years in New York and will be aiming to go a couple of steps further in 2018 as the 6th seed.

Johanna Konta will be competing at a Grand Slam event without being seeded for the first time in a while. Perhaps this will be a favourable position for Konta as there is certainly far less pressure on her at the moment. Konta played 4 events in the lead-up to the US Open, her best result was a quarter-final showing in San Jose where she thrashed Serena Williams. Konta arrives in New York fresh from a second round withdrawal in New Haven last week due to a viral illness.

Konta holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Garcia. The pair met on two occasions in 2017, both went the distance. Garcia defeated Konta in a final set tiebreak in Indian Wells whilst most recently Konta won 7-6 4-6 6-4 at Wimbledon.

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Caroline Garcia vs. Aryna Sabalenka, Cincinnati R3 Preview

?? Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati R3 Preview
?? (6) Caroline Garcia vs. ?? Aryna Sabalenka

Caroline Garcia and Aryna Sabalenka will go head-to-head for the first time on Thursday when they meet at the third round stage of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. This looms as an exciting clash between two confident, aggressive, young competitors. Garcia and Sabalenka both enter this clash in great form, it will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during the first round at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia is starting to build momentum after a disappointing grass court swing. The Frenchwoman arrived in Cincinnati fresh off a quarter-final appearance in Montreal, Garcia defeated Magdalena Rybarikova and Maria Sharapova in Montreal which saw her reach enter the top 5 for the first time. Garcia started her Cincinnati campaign with another notable victory, defeating Victoria Azarenka 6-4 7-5, a gutsy win given Garcia was behind in each set.

Aryna Sabalenka also arrived in Cincinnati on the back of a good week in Montreal. Sabalenka claimed a big 3-set win over Caroline Wozniacki on route to a third round showing in Montreal. Sabalenka came from match point down to beat Wozniacki but lost from match point up against Elise Mertens in the next round. Sabalenka has already claimed 2 huge wins in Cincinnati, coming from a set down to defeat both Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova. The Belarusian’s fearless game is seeing her rise and rise up the WTA pecking order and there are no signs of that stopping.

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