World number nine and 23-time champion Serena Williams will take on Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 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 Serena Williams v Tsvetana Pironkova 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
Serena Williams v Tsvetana Pironkova Head to Head
There have been five previous encounters between these two players and Serena has won each of them. This includes one as recently as the US Open in which Serena came back from a set down to overcome Pironkova in the quarterfinals.
Their first ever match came at the 2007 French Open, a first round encounter which Serena won in a similar fashion as this latest US Open victory.
Serena Stretched in Set One by Ahn
Serena was an overwhelming favourite to ease her way past Kristie Ahn in her first round match but at one point in the first set it looked like things could spiral out of control for the 23-time Grand Slam winner.
After a couple of easy holds in the first two games of the opening set, Serena saved five break-points in the third game only to lose it to a doughty Ahn. Things went on serve following that before the break of serve was reversed and in a similar fashion – six break-points were needed by Serena there.
Unfortunately for the former world number one, the rhythm went missing very next game and she was broken on love to have Ahn serving for the set at 5-4.
Serena fought back to break again and a couple of games later, pushed it into a tie-breaker which she won easily. It was a tie-breaker that looked to have deflated Ahn on the one hand but more importantly, Serena began to find her routine and crunched past her opponent with three breaks of serve in the second set.
She faced just one break point in the entire set and by then the job was all but over.
Pironkova Climbing Back the Ladder
She was unranked when she made a return to tennis earlier at the US Open. Pironkova now has climbed up to 157th in the world and with a first round win at the French Open will see a further improvement in her rankings.
Unfortunately for her, as would be expected out of an unseeded player, she has been drawn to play a seed in the second round but Pironkova would believe she has a chance from what she has seen of Serena recently. For starters, she managed to take a set off Serena at the US Open which was on the American’s more preferred surface.
Secondly, given the manner in which Serena started off here in the first round, she was in a very serious danger of losing the opening set.
More vitally, it is how Pironkova went about her own business in her opener. Starting out against Andrea Petkovic, Pironkova was a 6-3, 6-3 winner, breaking her opponent a whopping six times in the match. Her winners outdid her unforced errors, 23-21, and the Bulgarian did brilliantly in attacking Petkovic’s second serve, allowing her to win just 16% of the points on it.
Pironkova is a former quarterfinalist at the French Open, having made it that far in 2016 – it was one of her four appearances in the last eight of Grand Slam tournaments. Can she make it her first win against Serena here?
Williams v Pironkova Prediction and Tip
This has Serena as a favourite as one would expect but the difference between the former world number one and most opponents is closing in. While Serena still has a champion mindset and the tendency to convert an inch into a mile, opponents know they have a chance. Pironkova will believe too.
Tip: Pironkova to win a set: 4/6 (bet365)