???? Roland Garros, R1 Preview
?? Jelena Ostapenko vs. ?? Victoria Azarenka
One of the most intriguing opening round matches at Roland Garros in 2019 sees two former Grand Slam champions collide when Jelena Ostapenko takes on Victoria Azarenka. Ostapenko and Azarenka were arguably the two most dangerous unseeded players in the draw so both can consider themselves unlucky with this draw, to make matters more complicated, the winner of this match is highly likely to face the top ranked Naomi Osaka in the next round.
Jelena Ostapenko is continuing to slip down the WTA standings. Ostapenko has been consistently inconsistent over the last 18 months and is a shadow of the player that shocked the tennis world two years ago to win the Roland Garros title as a teenager. Ostapenko has lost 10 of he last 14 matches and is simply playing without any confidence in recent times, perhaps a return to the scene of her greatest achievement will help spark a form reversal?
Conversely, Victoria Azarenka is steadily climbing back up the rankings and brings good form into Roland Garros after a strong run in Rome a few weeks ago. Azarenka battled her way through to the quarter-finals in Rome where she claimed an impressive 3 set win over the 2-time defending champion Elina Svitolina in the second round, a win that proves Azarenka can still beat the best, a seemingly important moment in Azarenka’s journey back o the top.
This will surprisingly be the first career meeting between Ostapenko and Azarenka. Expect fireworks between two feisty competitors that know what it takes to win big matches. Who will prevail?