Petra Kvitova‘s chances of adding to her two slams continue to rise as she navigates through a fairly kind bottom half of the draw at the French Open. She will play Laylah Fernandez in round three with the winner going on to play one of Shuai Zhang and Clara Burel, both very beatable opponents for either player.
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Already a top 100 player at the age of 18, Fernandez has shown plenty of signs of promise in her young career. The Canadian has not been hyped like many young Canadians have in the past few years, something that may look odd if she continues to progress. She picked up two good wins to make it this far, beating Magda Linette and Polona Hercog in three setters.
Kvitova has not faced much trouble through two rounds, beating Oceane Dodina and Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. Her power overwhelmed the latter in round two with the Czech hitting 32 winners overall.” Overall, I’m really happy how I handled it,” Kvitova said in her post-match press conference. “It wasn’t really easy. I was broken a few times, and I really had to put something else in those important points and really still be there mentally and be strong in those.
Fernandez is the kind of player who moves well and could expose Kvitova if the Czech has an off-day as she so often can, especially on a surface where her movement is poor. However, the two-time Wimbledon champion will be eager to advance given she will likely never have a better opportunity to make a French Open final. Fernandez has picked up a few wins against Sloane Stephens but is fairly untested against the top players.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in straight sets