World number 20 Elise Mertens kick-starts her 2020 French Open campaign with an opening round match against the 122nd-ranked Margarita Gasparyan on Sunday, September 27. It begins at around 11 am local time (10 am BST or 5 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Elise Mertens v Margarita Gasparyan match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Margarita Gasparyan Head to Head
This will be the second match between Mertens and Gasparyan with the first having come at the 2019 Australian Open. Mertens had won that second round match in straight sets.
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Mertens Gunning for Best French Open Performance
While she has been very solid on clay and made the third round of French Open in all three previous visits, Mertens will be aiming a lot higher than the fourth round she had achieved at the 2018 edition. The form certainly is on her side, and with a bit of a luck with the draw it might become an eventuality.
Because Mertens the tournament on the back four excellent performances across both, the hard court and clay court surfaces.
After a shock loss in the first round of the Palermo Open, Mertens has made it to at least the quarterfinal stage of all the remaining four competitions she has played in. It started with a Prague Open title-decider on clay where she lost the final to the in-form Simona Halep and then saw her enter the semifinal of the Cincinnati Open too where she went down to Naomi Osaka.
At the US Open, Mertens played brilliantly to get to the quarterfinal, which included a 6-3, 6-3 drubbing of Sofia Kenin but was soundly beaten by Victoria Azarenka in that match. And then there was another quarterfinal at the Italian Open, where the defeat came at the hands of Karolina Pliskova.
Essentially Mertens hasn’t found it too difficult to get past the lower-ranked players, rarely dropping a set (11 straight-set wins to one three-setter over her last 12 victories), but when it comes to top, in-form opponents, she is yet to discover a way to get past.
Gasparyan is ranked outside the top 100.
Gasparyan Barely Making the Second Round
It’s been a very disappointing season for the Russian Gasparyan as she has fallen from one defeat to another, rarely able to trouble peers and even more rarely getting to second round of competitions.
In fact, her two most recent results, one at the US Open and then at the Istanbul Cup finally saw her win a round apiece – she beat Monica Puig and Pemra Ozgen but was easily sent out in the next match. In fact at Istanbul Gasparyan had to retire from fitness concerns and while she has had more than a fortnight to overcome it, the Russian world number 122 would hope she can put up a fight here.
Even as Gasparyan aims for her first ever main draw win at the French Open, the chances of that happening in 2020 have dimmed considerably since the draw came. Mertens isn’t in the kind of form where lower-ranked players have been able to trouble her too much.
Mertens v Gasparyan Prediction and Tip
The gulf between the pedigree of the two players can be seen from the fact Mertens is 1/16 to win this, and 2/9 in straight sets. Instead, we will look at the games handicap.
Tip: Games Handicap Gasparyan +6.5: 8/11 (bet365)