Kiki Bertens will want to establish her credentials as one of the French Open favourites on Wednesday afternoon with a comfortable win over Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova. Bertens has always been strong on clay but her Madrid title has raised expectations dramatically.
Bertens saw an eight match winning streak end in Rome but will want to get another rolling in Paris. A single break in each set was enough for her to see off the threat of Pauline Parmentier 6-3 6-4 but there may be some concern over the six double faults she served in the win. Bertens is a one time semi finalist at Roland Garros but many are tipping her to go all the way on this occasion.
Kuzmova serves big and has decent power, something that has helped her to break into the top 45 this year. She had two good wins over Julia Goerges and Carla Suarez Navarro in Madrid but suffered something of a reality check and class gap in the following round – losing 6-0 6-0 to Simona Halep.
The pair have already played twice this year, splitting the matches. Kuzmova won a third set tiebreak in Dubai and also won a set in Miami, in an otherwise uncompetitive 3-6 6-0 6-1 victory for the World No.4. Despite the added pressure, Bertens is not really changing her mindset. “For me, it’s just another tournament again, and like every tournament I go into this year, I try to play for the win, and that’s what I’m going to do again here.” she said before the French Open began. “Every day I try to improve myself, so I just see it like as one of the weeks on tour.”
Prediction – Kiki Bertens in straight sets