Jelena Ostapenko vs. Kateryna Kozlova, Roland Garros R1 Preview

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?

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia practices ahead of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

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?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

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