Two former champions will face off on Tuesday when Garbine Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova play in the first round. Kuznetsova, a champion in 2009, has struggled to find form recently while her opponent comes into the tournament as the 3rd seed. They met in the tournament two years ago with the Spaniard winning in straight sets on her way to the title.
Kuznetsova has an impressive 50-14 record in Paris with 7 appearances in the quarter finals or better and two finals, one of which she has won. There may be signs that the Russian is finally on the out now. She was top 10 at the end of last year but has since dropped outside the top 40 due to poor form – going 3-6 this year. She made the quarter finals of Istanbul but otherwise has found herself on the losing end of matches with the likes of Zarina Diyas and Mona Barthel.
Muguruza’s ability to turn it up a notch at slams has been showcased previously, with both her titles coming after suspect results in the warm up tournaments. This time round, she went 2-3 on the clay although both Madrid and Stuttgart bear little similarity in conditions to Paris. Her late night loss to Daria Gavrilova was extremely disappointing in Rome though, especially having held a 4-0 lead in the final set.
Muguruza isn’t too phased by her draw though. “It’s a good first round. Last year I remember I started with Schiavone. It’s good right away. Tough match. It doesn’t really matter, you know, who you’re going to play because it’s going to be a difficult match. We have a lot of battles together, so it’s going to be good.” she said. Kuznetsova may not be in form recently but a veteran like her can still make it difficult for Muguruza if the Spaniard has a bad day.
Prediction – Garbine Muguruza in straight sets