Roland Garros, R1 Preview
?? (19) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. ?? Luksika Kumkhum
The 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova opens her 2018 Roland Garros campaign on Monday where she takes on Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum. This will be the first career meeting between Rybarikova and Kumkhum, two players that are not very comfortable on clay. It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, a decent opportunity for both.
Rybarikova has played little tennis on clay in the leadup to the second Grand Slam of the year. Rybarikova played just 3 events on clay prior to Paris, in Stuttgart Rybarikova did have a good win over Kasatkina before succumbing to Halep in 3 sets. More recently Rybarikova suffered back-to-back opening round losses at the hands of Johanna Konta in Madrid and Rome.
Kumkhum has also played very little tennis on clay in 2018. Kumkhum avoided the majority of the European clay court swing, instead choosing to play ITF events in Asia. Most recently Kumkhum was in action in Strasbourg where she successfully moved through the qualifying draw but was beaten by Ash Barty in straight sets in the opening round.
Rybarikova and Kumkhum both have poor records in Paris. Roland Garros is easily Rybarikova’s least successful tournament given she has never made it past the second round. Whilst Kumkhum has never won a main draw match at Roland Garros and will be competing in the main draw for just the second time.