A third round meeting between a former champion in Garbine Muguruza and a lady still hoping to make a big mark at a major following her big win in Singapore is Elina Svitolina.
The preparations for Roland Garros have been no where near ideal for the Ukrainian number one who missed the entire warm up of events for Roland Garros with an on-going knee injury.
First up for her was a brutally tough round one opponent in Venus Williams but the Ukrainian really did impress with her movement and ground strokes as she progressed in straight sets against the veteran.
Elina’s second round match against fellow Ukrainian was cancelled as Kozlova withdrew from the match but does a walk-over into the third round help or hinder her?
Garbine Muguruza has had a good run to round three with a comeback win over Taylor Townsend to begin with followed by a straight forward win against Johanna Larsson. The Spaniard who won Monterrey hasn’t done much on clay since the win on the hard courts in Mexico and I feel like I’m echoing myself when I say that for the second year running she cannot end her season with that as a highlight.
Withdrawl from Stuttgart injured and retired recently in Rome was a worry and in Madrid before that she lacked that ruthless streak and but we are seeing good signs in Paris and 12 months ago I said a confident Muguruza is a dangerous Muguruza.
Eli would have wanted to play on Wednesday. The fact she didn’t for me hinders her chances now, to be fighting against former finalist in round three for a place in round four when you have won one match since end of March is not ideal.
Eli’s tennis did impress me after so long without a win but also her knee was heavily taped up and is something that will be a bit of a concern depending on how far she goes in the tournament.
Who do I think has the edge?
I think Garbine has the edge, Eli has the skill to hang into rallies and if Garbine can keep the composure there and keep the unforced error count down as well then she has a good chance.
Svitolina does lead the head to head at 6-1 but only one of their meetings has been on the clay courts and the win went to Elina up 4-1 in Rome before the Spaniard retired from the semi-final.
Really interesting match-up and a good chance as well to get to a quarter final but potentially Sloane Stephens in R4 first.