Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Christina McHale, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, ??? R1 Preview + Prediction
(8) ?? Svetlana Kuznetsova vs ?? Christina McHale

Former Champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova looms as one of the favourites heading into the second Grand Slam of 2017, one of the most open Grand Slam tournaments in recent memory. Kuznetsova should not take her opening round opponent in Paris lightly, Christina McHale looms as a potentially dangerous first round match-up for Kuznetsova, an opponent that can cause an upset if the Russian is having a poor day.

Roland Garros has always been Svetlana Kuznetsova’s best tournament. The 2009 champion has reached the quarter-final stage at the event on 7 previous occasions, highlighting her consistency at the tournament. Kuznetsova brings decent form into the event having reached the semi-finals in Madrid a couple of weeks ago, Svetlana will know that this could be one of her last legitimate chances to win a third Grand Slam title which will give her extra motivation but also put extra pressure on her to perform at her best.

Christina McHale is in the midst of a form slump heading into Roland Garros. McHale has won just 2 of her last 10 matches and has only ever advanced past the first round in Paris on one occasion, way back in 2012. The signs are not good for McHale but there is no doubt that she has talent and potential, also she will bring some confidence into this tough opening round match given she leads Kuznetsova in the head-to-head.

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Christina McHale holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Both of the American’s wins were way back in 2011, the pair have not played since Kuznetsova beat McHale 6-1 6-1 in Auckland in 2012.

Despite McHale’s poor recent form and poor record at Roland Garros, I see this as a tricky first round match for Kuznetsova. There will be a lot of long rallies in this, both are exceptional movers around the court with the ability to unwind on the forehand. Kuznetsova is tougher, has better touch and a much more effective backhand. I think this could be a tough battle but Kuznetsova will ultimately prevail as she has less holes in her game.

Prediction: Svetlana Kuznetsova to defeat Christina McHale in 3 sets

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