French Open 2017 WTA Round 3 Preview: Alize Cornet vs Agnieszka Radwanska

Two of the most craftiest players go head to head as No.9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska takes on Alize Cornet for a fourth round booth.

Alize Cornet [No.43] vs (9) Agnieszka Radwanska [No.10]

Overview: After a final appearance in Brisbane where she lost to Karolina Pliskova, Cornet has went 5-9 since, her best result during that stretch was a quarterfinal in Monterrey. The transition to clay, her favourite surface did not seem to help her, losing her openers in Rabat, Madrid and Strasbourg. Her only win on clay was in Rome to ‘why you say vamos’ Sara Errani. However, Cornet’s level always seems to raise on home soil. In the Frenchwoman’s opener, she was leading 6-2 5-4 before falling apart in the second set over Timea Babos, but she managed to find her concentration to take the decider. It was much simpler for Cornet in the second round – her craftiness showing through as she beat Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-1.

Agnieszka Radwanska, one of the most consistent players on the tour, is surprsingly 9-8 on the season, a wrong time for the Pole to fade away after the likes of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, her nemeses who have took time away from the WTA, and Maria Sharapova, who is still working her way back from the doping ban. After quarterfinal and final appearances in Shenzhen and Sydney respectively, Radwanska has failed to win back-to-back matches until the French Open, with wins over Fiona Ferro and Alison Van Uytvanck. It was customary for the first round against Ferro, but Van Uytvanck did her part to make things difficult for the Pole, winning the first set after a tight tussle. Things went Radwanska’s way in the last two sets, but she will have to do much better against a player who always plays well with the home ground advantage.

Head to head: These two have some history, dating back to 2008 when Radwanska won their only match played on clay in the French Open. Radwanska leads the head to head, 7-1 and won their previous encounter in Miami, a 6-0 6-1 demolition.

Stat: After 43 appearances in Grand Slams, Alize Cornet has not reached the quarterfinals in any major and this French Open is a great chance to do so after the bottom quarter of the draw has opened up.

Thoughts: This is an intriguing match as even though Radwanska has won most of their matches, Cornet has always done well in this match-up, mixing up the strokes and pressuring the World No.10 with her wide variety. Cornet can definitely take this match as she has beaten Radwanska before, the surface is also in her favour as Radwanska doesn’t get much work on her strokes on clay. Radwanska is certainly vulnerable, but I think her experience will get the better of Cornet this time with her unorthodoxy. This is a great opportunity for both players to go deep in the draw.


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