??? Roland Garros, R2 preview + prediction:
?? Alize Cornet vs. ?? Shuai Zhang
Alize Cornet comes up against China’s Shuai Zhang at the second round stage in Paris. Cornet is a Roland Garros veteran, the Frenchwoman has played in the singles draw every single year since 2005. Unfortunately for Cornet she has only made it into the second week at her home major on 2 occasions out of her 15 previous appearances. Fresh from a fourth round appearance at the US Open earlier this month it is Cornet who brings the better form into this clash.
Alize Cornet booked her spot in the second round at Roland Garros with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over countrywoman Chloe Paquet. Cornet played one warm-up event on clay prior to arriving in Paris where she stumbled at the second round stage in Strasbourg to the eventual finalist Elena Rybakina in what was a competitive match. Earlier this month Cornet reached the fourth round at the US Open for the first time in her career, the final in major in which she had yet to previously reach the final 16.
Shuai Zhang advanced to the second round in Paris courtesy of a 6-3 7-6 upset victory over the 12th seeded Madison Keys. Zhang has built up some decent momentum on the red dirt in France having come through the qualifying draw to reach the quarter-finals in Strasbourg last week. Roland Garros has traditionally been Zhang’s least successful major, unsurprisingly given clay is Zhang’s least successful surface in general.
Cornet holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Zhang. It was Cornet who won the most recent meeting between the pair, a 6-2 6-2 victory on grass in Eastbourne last year.
I’m going to side with Cornet here. Clearly this is a decent match-up for Cornet given her head-to-head success over Zhang, I suspect this advantage to be especially true on a heavy clay court. Cornet and Zhang are both solid from the baseline, both move well, Zhang probably has slightly more firepower but Cornet’s far greater versatility is what gives her the edge in this match-up. Cornet’s backhand slice and drop shot will be very useful here, expect Cornet to be too solid at her home major in what should be a close match.
Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Shuai Zhang in 3 sets