Venus Williams vs. Elina Svitolina
|Date & Time||Sunday May 26, 2019, 8:30 AM (EDT)|
Roland Garros Stadium
The Line: Svitolina -191 / Venus +172 -- Over/Under:
Venus Williams and Elina Svitolina meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis French Open.
Venus Williams has played just five sets in the last couple of months, so it’s going to be interesting to see if she’s able to get in playing shape on the fly and be a factor in this tournament. Venus is coming off a straight sets loss to Johanna Konta where she won 50 percent of her total services points and was broken five times. Venus also appears to be ealing with some minor injuries to maybe her right arm and leg, and she isn’t always moving well. These days, Venus can be struggling with her form and make things difficult on herself, but she always has these moments where she’s able to grind out victories and surprise people. Maybe this could be one of those tournaments. Venus has lost in the first round of a grand slam three times since 2016. Venus has won two of her last three matches on clay court.
Elina Svitolina has played just five sets on clay since last years French Open, and she enters this tournament on a four-match losing streak. Svitolina is coming off a three sets loss in Rome where she had eight double faults, won just 42 percent of her total service points and was broken 10 times. Svitolina has been broken a combined 18 times in her last three matches and hasn’t won a match since the quarterfinals in Indian Wells. It’s been about three years since we’ve seen Svitolina struggle the way she has these past few tournaments. Svitolina has lost in the first round of a grand slam just once since 2015. Svitolina has lost her last three matches on clay court.
These two have played three times and Svitolina has won twice, including the most recent match in March exhibition tiebreak of this year. Svitolina won the official match against Venus in 2017 Toronto, while Williams won the 2015 match in Rome. Both matches were decided in straight sets.
You can make a case to back or fade either of these players. Venus has more recent success and has that heart of a champion where she never goes down easy. Svitolina isn’t playing well at all, but she’s the better mover at this stage and can really make life difficult for the older Venus who looks stiff the longer a match goes. While the value is with Venus and the plus money, I’m siding with Svitolina. She’s the better player at the end of the day and doesn’t lose in first rounds of grand slams.