Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇧🇪 (16) Elise Mertens to defeat 🇦🇺 (24) Daria Gavrilova
Elise Mertens and Daria Gavrilova will renew hostilities when they meet at the third round stage at Roland Garros on Saturday. Mertens has proven to be a real nemesis for Gavrilova in recent times, the Belgian has won the last two matches between the pair, both at the Grand Slam level, including a straight set win in Melbourne earlier this year. Gavrilova will be keen for revenge here as both players seek to reach the second week in Paris for the first time.
Elise Mertens has not been at her best through her first few matches in Paris, but she still managed to claim two hard-fought wins without a great level of tennis. Mertens started the event with a surprisingly long 6-7 7-6 6-0 win over Varvara Lepchenko. Mertens produced a slightly more consistent performance in the second round to defeat Heather Watson 6-3 6-4 but overall it was another unconvincing performance from the 16th seed. Mertens has made a real habit out of winning tough matches, she doesn’t need to play her best to win the majority of her matches, which is a good thing, but she will need to step it up to stay alive in Paris.
It has been a roller coaster ride to the third round for Daria Gavrilova. The Aussie came from a set and a break down in each of her first two victories in Paris. In the opening round Gavrilova defeated Sorana Cirstea 4-6 7-6 6-3 in a rain interrupted match. Gavrilova’s second round win was even more dramatic, a 5-7 7-5 6-3 win over Bernarda Pera. Gavrilova led 5-2 in the opening set before losing 8 straight games, Pera led 5-2 in the second set before losing 5 straight games, two huge collapses. Gavrilova was too solid in the deciding set, coming from 0-2 down to win quite comfortably. Gavrilova certainly isn’t playing great tennis but one can’t question her determination.
Mertens holds a 2-1 H2H record over Gavrilova. The Belgian has won the last two matches between the pair, a 7-6 1-6 6-4 win at Roland Garros last year and a 7-5 6-3 win at the Australian Open earlier this year. Will Mertens make it 3 in a row over the Aussie?