A compelling opening round match-up takes place on Court 2, as Australian No. 1 Samantha Stosur and newly crowed WTA champion Monica Puig meet for the first time on the professional tour.
Stosur began her season in Hobart, where she reached the semi-finals before losing to Klara Zakopalova. She would go on to reach the third round of the Australian open, the second round in Doha and a surprising opening round loss to Annika Beck in Dubai. She would follow up with third round losses at both Indian Wells and Miami.
While she was expected to pick up the pace in the clay court portion of the season, Stosur has had a less than stellar start on the red dirt, as she lost in the third round in Charleston to Lucie Safarova, and then a surprising opener to Timea Bacsinszky in Portugal. She would then pick up the pace over the next few weeks, as she picked up wins over Dominika Cibulkova in Madrid and Sabine Lisicki in Rome to add to her confidence heading into the French Open.
Last year, the world No. 20 reached the third round in Roland Garros, where she lost to Serbian No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in three sets.
Monica Puig is coming off one of the best weeks of her professional career, as the Puerto Rican picked up her first ever WTA Tour title in Strasbourg. She defeated the likes of Andrea Petkovic and Madison Keys in the draw before beating Soler-Espinosa in the final. She did not lose a single set throughout the week.
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. It is an interesting encounter considering Puig’s confidence-boosting performance last week. Will she manage the upset win over Stosur? It is not impossible, particularly since the Australian has been far from consistent on the tour this season. While that may the case, Stosur is a fantastic clay court performer and will likely pull off the win in three sets.
Prediction: Samantha Stosur in Three Sets