|French Open 2014|
|Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) ||vs||Simona Halep (ROM) |
ScheduleTuesday, 27 May 2014 at 11:00 GMT / 12:00 UK / 16:30 IST
VenueCourt Philippe Chatrier
Alisa Kleybanova, currently 87th on the WTA ranking list is playing against Simona Halep, currently 4th in the rankings.
Simona Halep really emerged as a Grand Slam contender this season. She had a great junior career, but struggled with the transition to professional tennis, like so many other great talents. It was believed that her potential would never be fulfilled, but she literally exploded at the end of last season, and broke into top 10.
She continued with great results in this season too. She made it through the quarterfinals in Australian Open, won Doha, and played in the Madrid final against Sharapova two weeks ago.
After that, she withdrew in Rome, after the win against Keys, so the question arises – is Halep fit for Roland Garros? But, she said that it was only a precaution, so that withdrawal shouldn’t affect her performance in Paris.
Alisa Kleybanova is a Russian tennis player. A few years ago she was a top 20 player, but injuries and trouble with her weight moved her away from the top. She won only two matches on clay this season, but one of them was against Petra Kvitova, a top 10 player, and she also managed to beat Cibulkova in Doha, so Halep should be careful in this match.
Kleybanova is a hard hitter, and, on a good day, when she moves around the ball properly, she could be a tough opponent to almost anyone. She has accumulated a nice collection of top 10 “scalps” throughout her career, but currently she isn’t in a great form.
After beating Kvitova, she lost three matches in a row, and she is clearly an outsider in this match.
On the other hand, Halep has been playing really well in “big” tournaments such as masters and Grand Slam, apart from a tournament in Rome, and she is really a girl to watch out for in this tournament.
Halep has a pretty straight forward draw here. She could face veteran Koukalova in the 3rd round, and she is a clear favorite in this match. In the projected 4th round match she could face Sloan Stephens from USA, who is currently leading 2:1 in head to head matches against her, but Halep won their only match on clay. In the quarterfinals she could face Kvitova, whose game on clay leaves much to be desired, and if everything goes without surprises, we could watch a great match between Halep and Li in the semifinal.
But first, Halep must win her opening match against Kleybanova. It is expected that Kleybanova will test her luck with risky shots, and hope to win points fast. Almost every long rally will go to Halep’s tally, and if Russian minimizes her unforced errors to minimum, she maybe has a chance in this match. However, Halep’s strong baseline play should draw Kleybanova out of her comfort zone, and bring victory to the Romanian tennis player.
This will be the third match between these two players, and Halep leads 2:0.
It is expected that Halep wins in a pretty straight-forward match.