World number 15 Elise Mertens will take on Australian qualifier Storm Sanders in the first round of the 2021 French Open on Sunday, May 30. Get the live streaming options of this Elise Mertens v Storm Sanders match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Storm Sanders Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Mertens and Sanders at the highest level.
Mertens Looking to Improve Upon Previous Paris Best
Mertens has been one of the most consistent players on tour ranked outside the top 10 and this includes solid performances on clay court surfaces. And yet, her best ever performance at Roland-Garros is a fourth round appearance which came in 2018.
Since then, the six-time WTA title winner Mertens has gotten knocked out in the third round at both, the 2019 and 2020 editions of this competition.
This time around the Belgian enters the French Open on the back of a final appearance in Istanbul and as a quarterfinalist in Madrid, but will need to be to careful not to let her recent inconsistencies hamper her.
Mertens, who began the clay season with a first round exit at Charleston, later found it difficult to come back from the injury she sustained in Madrid and lost in the first round of the Italian Open as well.
To be fair to her, fitness aside she was also up against a player in form – Veronika Kudermetova has dished out some top-notch results in recent times. Can Mertens shrug her recent issues aside and get a move on here?
Sanders Comes Through Qualifiers in Straight Sets
She had begun the season ranked 292nd in the world but some solid performances at the highest level have pushed her ranking up to 161st right now. And a maiden main draw appearance at French Open is only going to help that get better.
Sanders’ path to make it to the main draw has been a good one too. After a string of decent performances in the lead-up to the qualifiers, Storm did not drop a single set in any of the three rounds of qualification, defeating Katarzyna Kawa, Cagla Buyukakcay and Susan Bandecchi in straight sets to seal her place.
Earlier this year, a quarterfinal in Adelaide and second round appearances at the Miami Open and Charleston Open have also helped propel her ranking but would that form be enough to test out Mertens?
Mertens v Sanders Prediction and Tip
Given Mertens’ recent injury, we could see some fight from the confident Sanders, especially in the first set.