|French Open 2014|
|Maria Sharapova (RUS) ||vs||Ksenia Pervak (RUS) |
ScheduleMonday, 26 May 2014 at 09:05 GMT / 10:05 UK / 14:35 IST
Maria Sharapova will play against Ksenia Pervak in the first round of this year’s Roland Garros. The two players will have an entirely different match in front of them, and the difference is in the pressure that’s on them – Sharapova, as 7th seeded, and someone who’s had a great clay court season, is expected to go very far; and Pervak has went beyond all expectations by even making it through the qualifiers, as she is currently 160th on the WTA list, so she can be more relaxed.
Sharapova will have a rough ride ahead of her. Up until the third round, she will face lower ranked players, and then is likely to play Kaia Kanepi,against whom she’s been victorious three times. However, afterwards she might face Dominika Cibulkova, who beat her in this year’s Australian Open, and two times before than (their head to head record is 3:3). In the quarter finals, she will likely be up against Serena Williams, her worst nightmare. It gets almost surreal to think of the fact that the last time Maria beat Serena was when she was only 17 (not once, but twice), and then lost to her fifteen consecutive times. For this match, she should conjure up the memories of winning against her in 2004, in the sensational Wimbledon final and in the WTA Masters finals, if she wants to stand a chance against the tough American player.
But, even if that quarter-final against Serena is her first concern, the Russian will have to get there first, and the first of the matches she should win is this one.
Ksenia Pervak is from Kazakhsta, currently ranked at the 160th place in the WTA list. Her career high was 37th place, thanks to the R16 in Wimbledon 2011. She is still young, only 23, but she was never regarded as an exceptionally talented player. She’s been trying to get back into the top 100 ever since 2012, when she dropped massively due to injuries. Pervak is an all-round player, and her being left-handed makes her tricky to play against. However, Sharapova undeniably possesses more power in her ground-strokes and serve, so the only way for her to get into trouble is to make a lot of unforced errors in this match.
Head to head
These two played one match up to date. They played on this tournament four years ago, also in the first round. Maria Sharapova easily won that match 6:3, 6:2.
Maria Sharapova is favourite to win.
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