World number 33 Svetlana Kuznetsova will be up against fellow Russian and 38th-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in what could well be the closest on-paper match at the 2020 French Open. This first round encounter will be held on Monday, September 28 and begins at around 12.30 pm local time (11.30 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Svetlana Kuznetsova v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
Looking to watch the French Open live streaming online?
- For tennis fans in the UK, Europe, Australia & elsewhere go to bet365 > Tennis > Live Streaming here* to watch & bet on the ATP & WTA tennis live.
- Get all the other French Open Live Streaming Options Here
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Svetlana Kuznetsova v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Head to Head
This is an interesting rivalry with Kuznetsova and Pavlyuchenkova having played each other nine times. The more senior, former French Open winner Kuznetsova has won six of those including their only previous outing on clay which came at the 2016 French Open. She had won 6-1, 6-4.
In their most recent outing at the 2017 Indian Wells Open, it was Kuznetsova who had again won in straight sets to march into the semifinal there.
Kuznetsova Finding Her Feet Post Pandemic Return
The 28th seed opted not to play in any of the exhibition matches which were hosted during the pandemic and took a good 45 days after tennis returned to play her first ever match. That came in Istanbul where she had a first round bye but facing up to Eugenie Bouchard in the second, Kuznetsova fell away fighting in three sets.
When you don’t play for as long a time as Kuznetova hadn’t, it was a surprise she managed to push Bouchard that long.
The Russian was back to her winning ways when she edged out Bernarda Pera and Anett Kontaveit in the first rounds of the Italian Open tough. Both those opponents had shown good form in their own ways in recent times, with Kontaveit even going into the US Open as one of the outsiders expected to go deep into the competition.
However, against Elina Svitolina, in the third round, proved to be too good for Kuznetsova, beating her in straight sets.
Kuznetsova will now look to kick on at Roland-Garros but faces a player just five ranks above her in this opener.
Pavlyuchenkova 2-3 on Clay This Season
Pavlyuchenkova has had her clay court issues this season but then again it isn’t her most preferred surface anyway. The 38th-ranked Russian resumed her post-pandemic season with an opening round defeat at the WTA Prague, going down to Arantxa Rus and then opted out of the American tennis swing.
Moving to Rome for the Italian Open, Pavlyuchenkova edged out Shuai Zhang in the opener but then again lost the second round to Elina Svitolina. While Svitolina has shown some form on her return to tennis earlier this month and is the world number five, things took a worse turn for Pavlyuchenkova when she also went down in the second round of the Strasbourg Open – this time losing to Jil Teichmann.
A quarterfinalist at the Australian Open this season, Pavlyuchenkova has a tough task on her hands as she looks to emulate that showing. Having not won more than one match at any of the top clay court competitions – French Open, Madrid Open and Italian Open – since her third round appearance at the 2017 Italian Open, history is also not on her side here.
Could be headed towards an early exit if she cannot find a way to overturn Kuznetsova’s hold over her.
Kuznetsova v Pavlyuchenkova Prediction and Tip
Kuznetsova is the rightful favourite in this match and while the conditions are drastically different at Roland-Garros this time, it could make things only easier for her.
Tip: Kuznetsova to win: 8/13 (bet365)