The 17th-ranked and in-form Elise Mertens faces Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in the second round of the 2021 Charleston Open on Wednesday, April 7. Get the live streaming options of this Elise Mertens v Alize Cornet match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Alize Cornet Head to Head
There have been two previous competitive matches between Mertens and Cornet and the head to head reads 1-1.
In their first meeting, Mertens came away a 7-5, 6-4 winner at the 2018 Australian Open third round before Cornet levelled things out by winning their singles match of the 2019 Fed Cup.
Mertens Hoping to Extend Form into Clay
While Mertens is ranked 17th in the world, she is fifth in the race to Shenzhen 2021 rankings, a table that consists of players ranked according to the points this season. Those in front of Mertens are Naomi Osaka, Garbine Muguruza, Ash Barty and Jennifer Brady.
And looking at Mertens’ win-loss record of 13-3 this year, it’s worth pointing out that two of those three defeats came to players ranked in the top four of the aforementioned chart – to Muguruza in the semifinal of the WTA Dubai and then to Osaka at the Miami Open.
In short, Mertens has been a tough nut to crack for most players, let alone someone ranked 59th in the world like Cornet currently is on the WTA charts.
What needs to be seen how quickly Mertens can make that transition to clay which has always been a concern for most players. One of the prime examples of this was when Mertens featured in her first tournament after the pandemic break on the clay courts of Palermo and stumbled in the very first round there.
She came back strongly in Prague to reach the final there, and then following a hard court swing, Mertens added another Italian Open quarterfinal to her kitty before falling in the third round at the French Open.
This time around though, Mertens has played a lot of tennis heading into the clay court season, unlike in 2020 when she had been out for a few months.
Cornet Huffs & Puffs to Beat Pera
It took Cornet nearly three hours and she needed to fight back from a brink of defeat to outlast Bernarda Pera in her first round win here in Charleston.
A quarterfinalist here in 2018, Cornet was down a set and then twice was behind a break in the second set before she exhibited great resolve to register a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over the American.
Cornet lost her serve in the first game of the second set, and then again in the fifth game after having levelled things off the previous game. Something similar happened in the decider too when she was down a break in the opening game before losing it in the seventh game only for her to break successively in the eighth and the 10th game of both the sets to complete a stunning victory.
However, while that fighting spirit will keep her in this second round match against Mertens, a first serve of 47% and six breaks of serves against her only point to one thing – she will need to do a lot better against the quality of her opponent here to win the match.
Mertens v Cornet Prediction and Tip
It’s difficult to see how Cornet would be able to stop Mertens except if the Dutchwoman herself struggles to adjust to clay quickly enough. We think Cornet might just push Mertens but not enough to eke out a win.
Tip: Mertens to win AND Over 19.5 games in the match: 7/5 (bet365)