World number four Aryna Sabalenka will kick-start her campaign at the 2021 French Open with an opening round encounter against Croat qualifier Ana Konjuh at the 2021 French Open on Sunday, May 30. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Ana Konjuhmatch along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Ana Konjuh Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Sabalenka and Konjuh at the highest level.
Sabalenka Starts at Career-High Rank
Never has Sabalenka gone past the fourth round at a Grand Slam. Then again, never before has Sabalenka come into a major ranked as high as fourth in the world, which does this time at Roland-Garros.
Having gotten knocked out in the third round last season here, Sabalenka looks like she has more tricks up her sleeve for clay this time and that was on display in her results this year.
Already in the form of her life as she lifted the Abu Dhabi Open title to begin the year and then followed it up with a quarterfinal appearance in Miami, Sabalenka’s transition to clay has been something to behold.
She made the final of the Stuttgart Open, where she lost to Ash Barty, but then extracted sweet revenge from the world number one as she romped into a second final in a row before beating the same opponent at Madrid. That was her first ever WTA 1000 title on clay.
Sabalenka enters the French Open this year as one of the players to watch out.
Konjuh Much Improved in 2021
Konjuh was one of the youngest players to win a main draw match since the turn of the century and very soon broke into the top 20 of the WTA rankings. Unfortunately for her, an elbow injury and a subsequent surgery meant she was out of action for most part of 2018 and 2019, pushing her out of the top 1000 at the start of 2020.
Which is why, despite being ranked 144th in the world, it has been a much-improved showing from Konjuh over the past two seasons but more so this year.
In 2021, Konjuh has featured in a lot of qualifiers and while she didn’t start off too well – losing in the Australian Open and St. Petersburg Open qualifiers – a solid showing in the Miami Open and then in Belgrade has propelled Konjuh forward.
At Miami Open, she made the fourth round while on the clays of Belgrade Open, Konjuh started out as a qualifier to defeat the likes of Yulia Putintseva and Nadia Podoroska to march into the final.
Three straight-set wins in the qualifiers of the French Open mean she will now be playing in her first ever tournament at Roland-Garros since 2018 but up against a player like Sabalenka she would know her chances aren’t very good.
Sabalenka v Konjuh Prediction and Tip
Sabalenka is 1/8 to win this and 2/5 to do that in straight sets which is what we believe would happen. That said, we also think it might not be the most straightforward of straight-set wins and the games market looks a tempting one for this.