Roland Garros, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (5) Jelena Ostapenko vs. 🇺🇦 Kateryna Kozlova
Jelena Ostapenko will begin her title defense at Roland Garros on Sunday with an opening round clash against the Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova. Ostapenko will enter this match as a huge favourite but interestingly it is Kozlova who has won the only two previous matches between the pair. This is a new situation for Ostapenko, how will she handle the occasion?
Ostapenko shocked the tennis world 12 months ago when she won a maiden Grand Slam title in Paris at the age of 19. Since then Ostapenko has established herself as a top 10 player, signalling that her Roland Garros triumph was no fluke. The Latvian’s form in the lead-up to Roland Garros has been average, amassing a 3-3 win/loss record on clay in 2018. Ostapenko’s latest result was a decent quarter-final showing in Rome where she succumbed to Maria Sharapova in a tight 3 set match.
Kozlova arrives in Paris having not won a match in almost 4 months. Kozlova has suffered 4 consecutive opening round losses since reaching the Taiwan final in February. Clay is Kozlova’s worst surface and she has never won a main draw match in Paris.
The good news for Kozlova is that she has won both of the previous matches between the pair, most recently it was Kozlova who claimed a 7-5 6-2 win over the Latvian on grass in s-hertogenbosch in 2016. Can Kozlova cause a huge upset?