??? Roland Garros, R2 preview + prediction:
?? Daria Gavrilova vs. ?? Eugenie Bouchard
A fascinating second round match-up at Roland Garros on day 4 sees Daria Gavrilova come up against Eugenie Bouchard. This is a big opportunity for both players to return to the third round stage of a major for the first time in a while. Gavrilova hasn’t reached the third round stage of a major since Wimbledon 2018, whilst Bouchard hasn’t reached the third round stage of a major since the Australian Open in 2017. A winnable match for both, who will make the most of this opportunity to reach the round of 32 at Roland Garros?
Daria Gavrilova made an impressive return to the tour with a 6/4 6/3 victory over the 24th seeded Dayana Yastremska in the opening round. It was Gavrilova’s first tour level match since the US Open last year, her first victory at a major since the US Open in 2018. At her best, Gavrilova has always been a tricky opponent, especially on clay where her exceptional speed and movement make her a tough opponent to put away.
Eugenie Bouchard’s resurgence continues. Fresh from a strong run to the final in Istanbul, Bouchard made her way through to the second round in Paris with a 6/4 6/4 win over Anna Kalinskaya. Bouchard has been grinding away on the European clay since the tour restart with promising results, a quarter-final run in Prague came before she won 6 matches on route to the final of the Istanbul Open earlier this month.
Bouchard holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Gavrilova. However, the pair haven’t met in over 7 years, so their previous encounters are mostly irrelevant. It was Gavrilova who won their most recent match, a 7/6 7/6 victory at the Australian Open in 2013.
I’m going to side with Bouchard here, but Gavrilova is certainly capable. Bouchard has played a heap of matches on clay over the last few months with decent success. The Canadian is match-tough and has built up a nice base level of play. Gavrilova’s upset win over Yastremska in the first round was impressive, but she will face a very different challenge here, Bouchard won’t give away as many gifts. Gavrilova is very early in her comeback to the tour and is still finding her feet. The heavier hitting of Bouchard, greater aggression and match-toughness should give the Canadian the edge here.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Dara Gavrilova in 3 sets