World number 20 Elise Mertens will be up against the 106th-ranked Kaia Kanepi in the second round of the 2020 French Open on Wednesday, September 30 and the match could begin at around 12.00 pm local time (11.00 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Elise Mertens v Kaia Kanepi match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Kaia Kanepi Head to Head
This will be the second time Mertens and Kanepi will be facing off in a competitive encounter. Their first came on the clay court of Charleston and Kanepi was a three-setter winner in that encounter. Interestingly, two of those sets were bagels, one for each, before the final set went to Kanepi 7-5.
Mertens Comes Through With Ease
Mertens had her own struggles in conditions, which at best can be described as cold and different at Roland-Garros, but the hallmark of a very good player is the manner in which she responds. And Mertens did that rather well, coming through 6-2, 6-3 against Margarita Gasparyan in her first round match on Sunday.
In an encounter that saw 11 breaks of serve as both players found the conditions too different from the regular times, Mertens was broken in the very first game of the match, only to rattle off five games in a row after that. While she failed to serve out the set at 5-1, Mertens broke Gasparyan next game again to seal off the first set.
The second set looked to have begun on a similar note, with Mertens getting broken in the very first game and then retaliating with a break of her own. Gasparyan went 3-2 ahead with another break but that was the last time she would win a game in her opener with Mertens coming back to squeeze the pressure and complete a facile win.
The main difference between the two players turned out to be Mertens’ returning, which won her 61% of the points as compared to her opponent who won just 48% of them.
Earlier in the season, Mertens had made it to the final at WTA Prague, and was a losing quarterfinalist in Rome, the two clay-court competitions she participated in. Her losses came to Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova, but other than that, Mertens did not have too many troubles getting past the early opponents.
Kanepi Surprises Bouzkova
While Kanepi is ranked outside the top 100 at the moment, she came out all guns firing against the 46th-ranked Marie Bouzkova and clinched their opener in three sets. Bouzkova, like Mertens, was broken in the first game of the opening set, only to retaliate with three games in a row, and was soon serving for the set at 5-3.
And while Kanepi broke her in that ninth game, Bouzkova came back to do the same at love to clinch the opening set. The second set saw the breaking action resume at 2-2 as Mertens took control and soon went up 5-2.
While the Czech did show some fight, and pulled one break back, Kanepi served out on love to level the match.
The third set proved to be one-way traffic as the more experienced Estonia took control of the encounter with two breaks of serve and came away a 6-2 winner.
Before this match, Kanepi had played just three tournaments on the WTA circuit this year, losing three of the four matches.
Mertens v Kanepi Prediction and Tip
Mertens has shown an uncanny ability to dispose off early opponents, especially those ranked below her and this should be no different. An easy win we reckon, one that ends up as a straight-setter.
Tip: Mertens to win in straight sets: 8/13 (bet365)