TennisSection previews the 2021 French Open as Elise Mertens (14) meets Maria Sakkari (17) in the Round of 32 on Saturday, June 5th 2021.
Will Elise Mertens be able to have an easier match here than she did in the Round of 64 where she had to fight back from a set down? Will Maria Sakkari continue to dominate here at Roland Garros as she looks to continue to show everyone that she should not be underestimated? Both players can win this match if they are on top of their game, but only one will make their way to the Round of 16 here at the French Open. Who will it be?
Elise Mertens had to fight back from a set down in the Round of 64, beating Zarina Diyas in 3 sets 4-6/6-2/6-4. Elise Mertens is such a tough player to beat on her day, and she has so much variation in her game as she has had a lot of success on the doubles tour. This year, Elise Mertens has been superb, going 20-7 in her matches, winning a title along the way, and rising up the rankings to be close to her career high of 12th in the world. Elise will want to continue playing well in 2021 and she can definitely do so. However, she has to be at her best right from the start unlike her prior match as she now meets Maria Sakkari.
Maria Sakkari has been in great form here at the 2021 French Open, crushing opponents. In the Round of 64, Maria Sakkari beat Jasmine Paolini in straight sets 6-2/6-3. Sakkari has one of the best games in the WTA Tour, and it has really shined in 2021, having gone 16-9 in her matches, as well as reaching her career high of 18th in the world. Maria Sakkari has also had some notable wins this year, such as beating Naomi Osaka in Miami stopping her streak of 20+ matches won. Maria will want to keep improving her game and rising up the rankings, but she needs to ensure she continues to raise her level in big matches, especially against the likes of Elise Mertens.
Elise Mertens and Maria Sakkari have met 7 times before, with Elise Mertens leading the head to head 4-3. They have always played tight matches and they will know that this will not be an easy ride to the Round of 16 at the 2021 French Open. Both players could win it if they are playing at their highest level, however, I am more confident in Maria Sakkari’s game this week at Roland Garros. Maria has been dominating and determined, whilst Elise has been up and down. Because of their previous matches, I still see this going to 3 sets as they both know their games inside and out, but Maria Sakkari will make her way to the Round of 16.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Maria Sakkari in 3 Sets.