TennisSection previews the 2021 French Open as Aryna Sabalenka (3) meets Ana Konjuh in the First Round on Sunday, May 30th 2021.
Third seeded Aryna Sabalenka has been one of the most outstanding players on the WTA Tour over the past year. Will she be able to continue that good form with a strong showing here at the 2021 French Open? Or will the unseeded Ana Konjuh of Croatia play spoiler and cause the massive upset? This looks like a mismatch on paper, who will advance to the Second Round at Roland Garros 2021?
Aryna Sabalenka is currently ranked #4 in the WTA world rankings, and is the fourth seed here at the 2021 French Open. After a breakthrough season in 2020, she has kept the momentum going with some fantastic results. The Belarusian has been the standout player so far during the clay court season, claiming the title in Madrid and reaching the Final in Stuttgart. In this type of form and with her game she should be considered one of the main contenders for the title here at Roland Garros 2021, and will be backing herself to do well here. She enters this match against Ana Konjuh as the heavy favorite but needs to keep her focus against a strong opponent here.
Ana Konjuh is currently ranked #144 in the WTA world rankings, but has been ranked as high as #20. The Croatian has had a torrid time with injuries, and is now working herself back into form and fitness after breaking into the top 20 in 2017. She has been in good form lately, reaching the Quarter-Finals in Istanbul and the Final in Belgrade, and sailed through the Qualifiers here at the 2021 French Open without dropping a set. While she is the underdog here, she is a very talented player and should not be underestimated by her opponent Aryna Sabalenka as this is potentially a difficult match if Sablenka is not at her best.
This will be the first meeting between the two players on the WTA Tour, and their head to head record stands at 0-0. Aryna Sabalenka is considered the strong favorite and rightly so, but Ana Konjuh is an extremely talented player, and should not be underestimated. If Konjuh did not suffer those injuries she very likely would still be a top 20 player, and if she is truly back to full health, Sabalenka could be in for a battle here at the 2021 French Open. I do think that this match will be closer than a lot may think, but ultimately the Belarusian will get the win here. She is in sublime form, and is unstoppable when everything is clicking for her. If she continues the momentum that she has built recently, I expect her to compete for the title here at Roland Garros 2021. Expect a tough match, but Sabalenka will get the win, advancing here in Paris.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win.