???? Roland Garros, R1 Preview
?? (1) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
Naomi Osaka begins her Roland Garros campaign against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Osaka is undoubtedly the biggest star in the women’s game at the moment, Osaka has taken over the tour in the last year by winning the last two Grand Slam titles and holding onto the number 1 ranking for several months. Despite this, Osaka is not considered one of the favourites in Paris as she is yet to prove herself on clay.
Naomi Osaka arrives in Paris on the back of some of her best ever results on clay, Osaka reached the quarter-final stage in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome where she played some quality matches on the red dirt. Osaka has never made it to the second week in Paris, her best previous result was a third round finish which she achieved in 2016 and 2018. The recent signs from Osaka suggest that her damaging weapons can be just as effective on clay as they are on a hard court.
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova heads into one of the biggest matches of her life in poor form. Schmiedlova suffered an embarrassing opening round loss to Xinyun Han in Strasbourg last week where she managed to win just 2 games despite heading into the match as a heavy favourite. Schmiedlova has stumbled at the opening round stage in Paris in the last 3 years and will suffer the same fate here unless she produces a miracle performance.
This will be the first career meeting between Osaka and Schmiedlova, a big mismatch on paper.