Roland Garros, R1 Preview
?? (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. ?? Svetlana Kuznetsova
The pick of the opening round matches in Paris sees two former Roland Garros champions collide as 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza takes on 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. This will be the second year in a row that Muguruza has come up against a fellow Roland Garros champion in the opening round after beating Francesca Schiavone in the opening round last year.
Muguruza’s form has not been great in 2018. The Spaniard’s form during the clay court swing in the leadup to Paris was lacklustre, opening round defeats in Stuttgart and Rome and a third round showing in Madrid, really poor given what Muguruza is capable of. Muguruza’s most recent loss was a brutal one, beaten by Daria Gavrilova in a marathon match in Rome, Muguruza gave up a 4-0 lead in the deciding set, squandering match points to lose a final set tiebreak.
Kuznetsova’s form has also been unimpressive heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. Kuznetsova only recently started her season after injury saw her miss the first couple of months of the year. Kuznetsova has amassed a poor 3-6 win/loss record in 2018, most recently the Russian was beaten in the opening round in Madrid at the hands of Petra Martic and suffered a second round loss in Rome at the hands of Anett Kontaveit.
This has been a great match-up for Muguruza. The Spaniard holds a 5-1 head-to-head record over Kuznetsova and has won the last 5 matches between the pair. Muguruza has beaten Kuznetsova on every surface, most recently it was a 6-2 5-7 7-5 win for Muguruza in Cincinnati last year. Whilst the H2H record looks lopsided, all of the matches between the pair have been close.