2016 champion Garbine Muguruza will be second up on Philippe Chatrier, looking to defend her title. Her second round opponent will be Anett Kontaveit, an Estonian who has been in good form recently and was rewarded with a career high ranking of 52, something she will improve on this tournament.
While beating Angelique Kerber in 2017 hasn’t exactly been a rarity for players on the tour, Kontaveit showcased her talents on a bigger stage in Rome with a crushing victory over the current World No.1. She broke 5 times in the 6-4 6-0 win on her way to a quarter final matchup with Simona Halep. She was outplayed at that stage, left one win from a first time ranking inside the top 50. She would guarantee it with a win against Muguruza but as it stands Kontaveit is now there in the live rankings after defeating the tricky Monica Niculescu in round one.
Despite being defending champion, Muguruza was barely mentioned as a potential champion when it came to this year’s event – even with many of the top players not competing. While you should never count someone like her out, it’s fair to say she hadn’t pulled up many trees on the clay swing or this year in general with a number of bad losses and more worryingly, retirements. That included her last tournament but she looked in fine form in round one, defeating another former champion in Francesca Schiavone. The Italian is on the way out now but can still be a tricky foe. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to react again on the centre court, playing against an ex-champ. I found a balance, even though some moments were difficult to overcome. I knew at some point she was going to come up with some great shots.” Muguruza said afterwards.
Kontaveit did actually win their last meeting, coming from a set down to defeat the Spaniard in three sets. Muguruza will hope to improve on that performance, which went way downhill from the start of the second set tiebreak, losing that 7-1 and then the deciding set 6-1.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza in straight sets