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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday September 25, 2020


The women’s singles draw at Roland-Garros has produced some firecracker early-round matchups and some intriguing third round fourth-round showdowns, but by in large it’s an evenly balanced draw that makes it difficult to determine winners and losers.

First, let's look at the draw:


Now, let’s have a look at some of the finer points.

Coco’s Debut

Coco Gauff’s presence at the Grand Slam has been an exciting addition to women’s tennis since she broke through at Wimbledon last summer. But the 16-year-old hasn’t played a main draw match at Roland Garros yet. Last year she fell in qualies, in the second round. Next week she’ll face No.9-seeded Johanna Konta with a chance to make another splash. Gauff went out in the first round at the US Open to Anastasija Sevastova. Will she embrace the underdog status and give Konta a run for her money?

Serena and Vika get reacquainted

Serena Williams’ draw isn’t as difficult as it was in New York, but it’s no cakewalk for the three-time Roland Garros champion either. She could end up facing Victoria Azarenka in the round of 16, and if the pair do end up meeting, it will be the rival’s second meeting in Paris, with the first going to Williams in three sets in 2015.

Halep’s Lane

Simona Halep is the oddsmaker’s favorite in Paris, and she’ll enter the tournament with a 14-match winning streak in tow and the confidence that comes from being the Rome champion. On paper her matchups could be considered tricky, especially her potential third-round matchup with Amanda Anisimova, who reached the semifinals in Paris last year as a 17-year-old. But Anisimova’s 19 now, and not playing at the same level, the matchup not live up to billing unless Anisimova can hit a higher gear than she has been riding in since the restart.

Vondrousova v Swiatek

Everybody seems to have their eye on the first-round matchup between two players that reached the second week as teenagers in their last trip to Roland Garros. Vondrousova went on to the final and became one of just two unseeded women’s singles finalists at Roland Garros in the last 35 years. Swiatek, who was making her debut in Paris, looks like a future star as well. This one should be must-see TV.

Brady on clay?

It’s easy to expect a follow-through from Jennifer Brady after the performance she produced at the US Open. She reached the semis and stood toe-to-toe with eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the semifinals, before bowing out in three sets. But Brady has very little clay success under her belt at this stage of her career, and it might not be easy for her just to step on the clay and be the type of player she was a few weeks ago on hard courts. Sure, it’s realistic to expect that she’ll benefit from the confidence gained from her New York run. But if she runs up against Garbiñe Muguruza in the third round will she be ready to handle the challenge of facing a true clay-court aficionado? Time will tell.

Potential Round of 16 Matches if Seeds Hold

Halep v Vondrousova
Konta v Bertens
Svitolina v Mertens
Azarenka v Serena Williams
Sabalenka v Muguruza
Rybakina v Kenin
Kvitova v Keys
Martic v Pliskova

 

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