World number 18 Elena Rybakina will face up to Romania’s veteran player Sorana Cirstea in the first round of the 2020 French Open on Tuesday, September 29. The match begins at around 12.30 pm local time (11.30 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Elena Rybakina v Sorana Cirstea match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elena Rybakina v Sorana Cirstea Head to Head
This will be the second meeting between Rybakina and Cirstea having earlier featured in the first round of the Qatar Open this year. Rybakina had overturned a first set loss to win that match but then had retired from her third round match against Ash Barty.
Five Finals for Rybakina
If someone thought Rybakina is a one-trick pony, in that she does well only on hard court tournaments, the Kazakh had another thing coming for them. Because in Strasbourg, a tournament leading up to the French Open, Rybakina reached the final before going down fighting to Elina Svitolina in three sets.
It was her fifth final of the season and while she has won just one, it must be remembered Rybakina has been up against some of the top players in the world. That she has managed to show the kind of consistency in getting to the final speaks volumes about her brilliance and with 28 WTA match wins this season, she is already at the top of the Most Wins charts.
Rybakina won’t have it easy here though. This is a tournament she has played just once before this and lost her opener last year, so the added pressure of wanting to do well in this will always be there but more vitally she is up against a tour veteran.
Sorana Cirstea might not have pushed on at the French Open in recent years but holds that element of turning the switch on when it matters.
Cirstea’s Played Just One Match on Clay in 2020
Once ranked 21st in the world, Cirstea has fallen to 83rd at the moment but even more vitally she enters this edition of the French Open with only one clay court match under her belt. That came in Palermo at the very start of the season resumption and Cirstea had lost to another veteran Sara Errani in three sets.
Since then, Cirstea’s only two showings have been at the Cincinnati Open, where she lost to Anna Kalinskaya in the qualifiers, and the US Open.
And it’s her performance at the US Open which would make most opponents sit up and take notice to not grow complacent looking at the opponent’s ranking. Because in getting to the third round, Cirstea showed what she is capable of, as she defeated Christina McHale and then shocked Johanna Konta in the first two matches.
Even in her defeat to Karolina Muchova, Cirstea showed great heart in taking the match to the final set-breaker before getting nudged out in the close three-setter.
Rybakina v Cirstea Prediction and Tip
Rybakina, on paper, is a heavy favourite, starting out at 2/9 and she has the momentum too. Exhaustion won’t be much of a factor given she has played back to back earlier in the season too – played over three successive weeks and lost just two matches out of 13 – and with the cool weather helping players recuperate, she looks good to win in straight sets if she can avoid complacency.
Tip: Rybakina to win in straight sets: 8/13 (bet365)