WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up French Open tips for Ash Barty’s tricky second-round assignment against Magda Linette. Will the world No.1’s injury concerns play a part?
20:00 (AEST), Thu 3rd Jun @ Roland Garros, Paris
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Champion Australian Ash Barty lines up against world No.45 Magda Linette in a solid second-round test at the French Open.
Making her first appearance at Roland Garros since winning her maiden Grand Slam in 2019, Barty was made to work in a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win over Bernarda Pera on Tuesday. The 25-year-old required treatment on a heavily strapped leg during the match but finished the match strongly.
The victory followed on from Barty’s outstanding form on the 2021 clay swing. She won the Stuttgart Open and reached the final in Madrid.
Linette put away Chloe Paquet 6-3 6-3 in the first round, losing just one game on serve.
After a string of early tournament exits so far in 2021, the Polish 29-year-old arrived in Paris on the back of a semi-final charge at the Internationaux de Strasbourg last week.
Barty has made it to at least the third round in her last eight Grand Slam forays. Linette has reached the third round of a major four times: the 2017 French Open, 2018 Australian Open, 2019 Wimbledon and 2020 US Open.
Barty will likely need to improve on her first-round performance to get past Linette. Her injury is a worry, blunting the effectiveness of her service game against Pera.
Linette is a disciplined defensive player capable of causing Barty some problems, particularly if the world No.1 is short of 100 percent. Barty should find a way through but Linette provides genuine value as such a lengthy underdog.
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