French Open 2021: Venus Williams vs Ekaterina Alexandrova Preview, Head-to-Head and Prediction

Published 05/29/2021, 12:53 PM EDT
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While it is the joy of competing than any serious title ambition that drives Venus Williams to the tennis court these days, the 40-year-old will go into Roland-Garros with the regret of finishing runner-up in 2002 and a faint hope of working a miracle this year.

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The veteran of 7 Grand Slam championship victories, 5 of which came at Wimbledon, will open her French Open campaign against 33rd-ranked Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Venus Williams has never played Ekaterina Alexandrova before

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Apart from the fact that her opponent is 14 years younger than her, Venus has never played the Russian before.

While she only has a single Tour title to show for her exploits, Alexandrova is a spunky opponent who fights her guts out in matches and has already racked up 12 wins against 10 losses this year.

While her career win/loss record stands at 311/186, the Russian has had a fairly decent run on clay this year, with 2 quarter-final finishes at Stuttgart and Strasbourg and a run to the 4th round in Rome.

She would be keen to take the positives into Roland-Garros and push for the title.

Venus Williams of USA plays a forehand during her round of 16 match against Lauren Davis of USA at the ASB Classic on January 03, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Venus only has 2 wins in 5 matches this season

Venus, on the other hand, hardly has matches under her belt this season, winning just 2 of the 5 fixtures she featured in.

The veteran’s run on clay has been no better, crashing out in the opening round in Madrid after losing to compatriot and Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady in straight sets.

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Getting herself in the draw at WTA Parma in the hope of picking up some wins ahead of the French Open, Venus suffered a third-round loss to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia.

The relatively slow surface at Roland-Garros, which requires players to inject pace into their shots, as there’s hardly any off the surface, and do a lot more running around, won’t make the job for the 40-year-old any easier.

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Her best chance would be to get serves going and pick those of her opponent early to close out points quicker.

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Though it’s a tough ask for the American, expect her to put up one hell of a fight against the Russian.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

988 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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