Roland Garros main draw action kicks off this Sunday and the line-up for Sunday’s matches is out. This post includes three of my favourite R1 matches for Sunday including Cornet-Errani, V.Williams vs Q.Wang and Konta vs Putintseva. Also, remember to check out my French Open main draw preview here. Read on for the previews…
French Open Day 1, Round 1
1.  Alize Cornet (No.33) vs Sara Errani (No.74)
Alize managed to snatch the last seed in the women’s singles draw after Agnieszka Radwanska’s withdrawal earlier in the week (sobs, Aga) though it doesn’t matter as she has been given a tough draw in the form of former French Open finalist Sara Errani. Both players love to play on the clay but their results of late have been disappointing – Errani only has had three main draw matches on the red clay, while Cornet only managed to notch one main draw win.
Thoughts: Errani leads the head to head 4-3, but Cornet has won their past two meetings. I watched Errani’s match in Rome against Babos and was largely disappointed by her serve and passive tactics. Cornet is always able to elevate her game when playing in her home crowd and I think her quicker and flatter groundstrokes will be able to get past Errani’s defenses.
Final Prediction: Alize Cornet d. Sara Errani in three sets
2.  Venus Williams (No.9) vs Wang Qiang (No.91)
After a breakthrough 2017 season which saw her rise from No.78 to No.45 in the rankings, Wang Qiang has failed to deliver in 2018 and is now at a low of No.91, her lowest ranking since March 2016. The draw has not been kind to the Chinese player and she’ll play Venus in an exact repeat of their round one match in Roland Garros last year. Venus won that one, 6-4 7-6(3).
Thoughts: Venus leads the head to head 2-0, and in their most recent match Wang pushed the American to three sets. However Wang’s confidence is at an all-time low right now – even if Venus is not too comfortable on the clay, Wang probably doesn’t have too much weaponry to upset the No.9 seed.
Final Prediction: Venus Williams d. Wang Qiang in two sets
3.  Johanna Konta (No.22) vs Yulia Putintseva (No.93)
I’m kind of laughing at this match-up… the calm, mostly robotic Johanna Konta up against the fiery and crazy Yulia Putintseva on the Paris clay. In their last meeting, Konta beat Putintseva 6-3 6-0 – I’m expecting a much tighter scoreline considering Konta’s struggles of late. As expected of the Brit, she hasn’t been able to perform too well on the dirt, although two wins in Rome and eventually falling in a tight three-setter to Jelena Ostapenko was an encouraging result. In huge contrast, Putintseva’s level has been horrendous on her favourite surface of clay and only managed to record two wins out of seven matches.
Thoughts: Though form suggests differently, I’m going for Putintseva in this one. Konta will try to stay aggressive and come forward, but Putintseva’s defensive skills are decent on this surface. I think Putintseva’s moonballs and antics will drive Konta crazy and result in a barrage of errors from the latter.
Final Prediction: Yulia Putintseva d. Johanna Konta in three sets
Thanks for reading! Roland Garros predictions can be found here!