The 30th-ranked Donna Vekic will be up against Romania’s 25-year-old qualifier Irina Bara in the first round of the 2020 French Open on Monday, September 28. The match begins at around 12.30 pm local time (11.30 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Donna Vekic v Irina Bara match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Donna Vekic v Irina Bara Head to Head
This will be the very first time that Vekic and Bara will face off in a competitive match at this level.
Vekic’s Lost More Than She’s Won This Season
For a player inching towards the top 10 in the WTA rankings at one stage, things haven’t looked very upbeat for Donna Vekic this season. Featuring in 17 matches in 2020, Vekic has won just eight and lost the remaining nine, including a first round defeat at the hands of Amanda Anisimova in Rome two weeks ago.
That was Vekic’s second tournament on clay this year having earlier resumed after the pandemic break with a showing at the Palermo Open. There she had overcome Arantxa Rus easily in the first round but fallen to the 130th-ranked Elisabetta Cocciaretto in straight sets.
And it’s not clay alone. At the Cincinnati Open, Vekic was first round casualty, losing to Victoria Azarenka before making it as far as the third round at the US Open. There, she lost to Tsvetana Pironkova.
Battling form, Vekic will hope she can dish out the kind of performance she had last year at the French Open. The Croat, who had never gone beyond the third round at Roland-Garros before that, defeated Laura Siegemund and Belinda Bencic to go through to the fourth before falling to Johanna Konta.
A strong showing against a 142nd-ranked qualifier is what she needs to get back some of her confidence.
Bara Has Been Playing Non-Stop on Clay Since July
Since the tennis world went on a lockdown, there have been a few exhibition tournaments on show including a few on clay. Bara has played in one in July and followed it up with another in August, and at the same time featuring in four other ITF and WTA-level competitions.
At the WTA Prague, Bara failed to make the main draw but then participated in the Prague Open where she won a couple of quick matches before bowing out in the third. A final appearance at the Cagnes-Sur-Mer ITF stopped a win short of helping her win her first title since 2017, but she took that confidence over into the French Open qualifiers to emerge as one of the 12 to make the main draw.
This, incidentally, is her first ever main draw appearance at a Grand Slam, having previously reached the third round of qualifiers only once – at the 2018 French Open as well. While Vekic is struggling for form, this one might be a bridge too far for Irina Bara.
Vekic v Bara Prediction and Tip
Vekic’s poor form makes her as long as 2/5 to win this match and those are good odds for a 30th-ranked player taking on a qualifier in a Grand Slam opener. Especially one who had reached the fourth round last season.
Tip: Vekic to win: 2/5 (bet365)