World number 15 Elise Mertens will be up against the 18th-ranked Maria Sakkari in what could turn out to be an exciting third round of the 2021 French Open on Saturday, June 5. Get the live streaming options of this Elise Mertens v Maria Sakkari match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Maria Sakkari Head to Head
There have only been two matches at the highest level on the WTA circuit and both players have won one apiece. Sakkari won on the clay courts of Rabat in 2019 while Mertens was a three-set winner at the WTA Elite Trophy in three sets.
There was one other match in 2016 at the qualifiers of the Australian Open which Sakkari had won in three again while in the four other ITF level matches, Mertens leads 3-1.
Mertens Nearly Stunned by Diyas
Starting out at 1/10 to win her second round fixture against Zarina Diyas, Mertens was taken to the distance before completing a three-set win and moving to the third round at Roland-Garros for the fifth time in a row.
Mertens overcame a one set deficit before finding her game and pocketing a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Diyas in two hours and 29 minutes.
In a topsy-turvy first set, the two players exchanged breaks of serves to get to 2-2 before Mertens looked to have gotten herself an upper hand when she broke another time. Serving to make it 5-3, however, Mertens then lost control of the set with Diyas breaking her twice in a row to take the lead.
If Mertens was stunned, she did not show it as she quickly got into her groove in the second set to start things off with a break and make it a second break in the fifth game. And while Diyas put up a sterling fight in the decider, a break in the seventh game if all that Mertens needed to come through.
Can she now stop the sparkling Sakkari?
Sakkari Continues Her Solid Run
Having never made it past the third round at Roland Garros, Sakkari emulated her previous best at this competition by coming through in her second successive straight-set win.
Sakkari won 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and nine minutes, beating the world number 91 Jasmine Paolini in her second round encounter on Thursday.
In a match that lasted just over an hour, Sakkari’s five aces and 29 winners proved too good for Paolini, who managed a mere 12 winners and 18 unforced errors to go with them.
The Greek number one broke Paolini five times and it was only when she was a set and 3-0 up in the second did she finally drop her own serve. As it turned out, another break of serve in the ninth game of the second set finished off the encounter in her favour.
Sakkari’s form on clay in the leadup to this competition wasn’t the best, with second round losses at Stuttgart and Rome and a third round defeat in Madrid. She has a chance to correct that here.
Mertens v Sakkari Prediction and Tip
This one has the potential to give us a cracker. Two players bringing different things to the table – Mertens knows her way around clay while Sakkari has shown the kind of form she is in right now. Expect a three-setter here.