World number 27 and in-form Yulia Putintseva will face up to the challenge of Kirsten Flipkens in their opening round match of the 2020 French Open. This encounter will be played on Sunday, September 27 and begins at around 7 pm local time (6 pm BST or 1 pm Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Yulia Putintseva v Kirsten Flipkens match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Yulia Putintseva v Kirsten Flipkens Head to Head
There have been three previous encounters between Putintseva and Flipkens. Flipkens has won two of them but those two came at the time she was at the peak of her career – in 2009 and 2013. More recently, in Miami, Putintseva avenged for at least one of those losses with a three-set win at the Miami Open.
Putintseva at the Peak of Her Career
At least that’s what the rankings are saying. Putintseva, who had earlier made it to the third round of the Australian Open this year, thereby emulating her best ever performance at that tournament, did two better at the US Open.
The Kazakh came through to the quarterfinals of the 2020 US Open, which was her first ever run that far at Flushing Meadows and just the third time in her Grand Slam career she had made the quarterfinals.
To top this, Putintseva’s only other two quarterfinal appearances at Grand Slams have both come at the French Open too, in 2016 and 2018, underlining her love for the surface. Her only WTA title has also come on clay, at Nurnberg last year, having lost two finals on hard court surfaces before that.
Putintseva shifted focus to play on Rome’s clay surfaces earlier this month, and showed no real problem in doing so. She defeated Rebecca Peterson in the first round, overcame Petra Martic in a stiff three-setter in the second but then showed immense never-say-die attitude when she came back from near dead against fellow Kazakh Elena Rybakina to win that encounter and move into the quarters.
She retired from her next match against Simona Halep but is deemed to be fit now.
Flipkens Has Won One Match on Clay Since June 2018
With one title on the hard courts of the Houston Open last year and another one a few years ago on carpet, Flipkens has shown her preference for those kind of surfaces. On clay, she has won just one match since June 2018, having played eight matches in that period.
It’s an indicator of Flipkens’ typical struggles on the surface, with her best performance at the French Open also restrained to a second round appearance on a few occasions. Add the Madrid Open and Italian Open, two other clay court events at the WTA Premier level, and she has won a grand total of one match in the main draws of those tournaments.
Flipkens began her post-pandemic season with a first round loss at Palermo, her only clay court match she has played this year before making the second round at both, the Cincinnati Open and US Open. It could get very tough for her here.
Putintseva v Flipkens Prediction and Tip
Unless the fitness issue related to her lower back which forced Putintseva to retire from her match against Halep in Rome causes any more issues, she is a heavy favourite to win this. Couple of easy sets.
Tip: Putintseva to win in straight sets: 4/9 (bet365)