Roland Garros WTA Daily Diaries: Day 1

Read on for match previews of Potapova-Kerber, Muguruza-Townsend and Vondrousova-Y.Wang as the first day came to a close at the 2019 French Open.

Match Recaps

Anastasia Potapova d. [5] Angelique Kerber, 6-4 6-2

From the outset it was clear that 18-year-old Anastasia Potapova was going to be the aggressor as the Russian moved Kerber from side to side with her pounding strimes to claim an early 2-0 advantage. Kerber took the next two games but from then on it was completely one-sided as Potapova claimed eight straight games on the trot. Kerber was unable to counter-punch and anticipate Potapova’s groundstrokes, which was probably due to her limited movement after her ankle injury in Madrid. Potapova played a very smart match, using the drop shots at the right time and anticipating the signature Kerber forehand up the line well.

[19] Garbine Muguruza d. Taylor Townsend, 5-7 6-2 6-2

Garbine Muguruza played a very fine match to survive the wacky Taylor Townsend to maintain her streak of never losing in the first round at the French Open. This wasn’t easy for Muguruza at all who was struggling to deal with Townsend’s topspin forehand and low slices in the beginning. Townsend was very good on the forehand wing and was frustrating Muguruza with her variety. Second set onwards and it was Muguruza who was dictating play instead, coming forward with success and was able to find more balls on her preferred backhand side. Her success at the net during her previous two Grand Slam triumphs were the main reason for her wins, and she stuck to that tactic in this match as she won 25/32 net points. Townsend’s balls were getting shorter and shorter, and Muguruza pounced on them and converted her fourth match point for a confidence-boosting three-set win.

Marketa Vondrousova d. Wang Yafan, 6-4 6-3

Long rallies were the theme of this match as both players don’t really have the outright power to blast each other off the court. It was pretty obvious why Wang Yafan hasn’t won a match on clay courts this year with her movement limited on the dirt. It doesn’t help  that Vondrousova absolutely loves the drop shots! I bet she hit like four drop shots in a row at 4-3 in the second set. Vondrousova was the more experienced on the clay and was much better in all aspects to continue her good form of late.

Thanks for reading!

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