Fixture: (3) Aryna Sabalenka vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Date: 02 June 2021
Tournament: Roland Garros 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 64)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red Clay
Prize money: €17,171,108
Live telecast: USA – NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | UK – ITV | India – Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Aryna Sabalenka vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich preview
Sabalenka has made rapid strides on clay this year. With her first-ever claycourt title in Madrid and a runner-up finish in Stuttgart, the 23-year-old now has her sights firmly set on her maiden Grand Slam crown in Paris.
The World No. 3 served notice of her intentions on Sunday in what was supposed to be a tough opener on paper. Down an early break against Ana Konjuh, the Belarusian came roaring back to notch up a 6-4, 6-3 win.
Sabalenka’s second-round opponent, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, should not pose too much of a threat either.
The 27-year-old is currently ranked 50 and hasn’t been able to make much of an impact in top-tier tournaments. In nine events this year, she has made the quarterfinals just twice – at the WTA 250 Serbia Open and the WTA 125 L’Open 35 de Saint-Malo.
In her first-round match at Roland Garros on Sunday, Sasnovich needed three sets to see off 291st-ranked Diane Perry. Clearly she needs to improve her level if she hopes to pull off an upset over the in-form Sabalenka.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich head-to-head
Aryna Sabalenka leads Aliaksandra Sasnovich 1-0 in their head-to-head, having won their solitary meeting 6-1, 6-2 in Wuhan two years ago.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich prediction
Despite a commanding display against Ana Konjuh in her opener, Aryna Sabalenka still has plenty of room for improvement.
Sabalenka coughed up seven double faults against the Croat and landed just 58% of her first serves. The 23-year-old also converted just six of her 15 break-point chances. She will look to iron out those chinks before facing her compatriot.
Sasnovich, meanwhile, does not possess the strongest of serves and could find herself in danger against a returner as merciless as Sabalenka. The key for Sasnovich will be to come to the net whenever chances present themselves and break Sabalenka’s rhythm.
She will also need plenty of help from Sabalenka herself. If Sabalenka’s serving woes continue, Sasnovich might fancy her chances of making inroads with her flat returns.
That said, Sabalenka is far more solid and consistent than Sasnovich. Even if she finds herself in trouble early on, she should still have enough firepower to chalk up a win.
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.
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