Maria Sharapova vs. Richel Hogenkamp 2018 French Open Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Hogenkamp vs. Sharapova
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TV: Tennis, NBC
Maria Sharapova and Richel Hogenkamp meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis French Open.
Maria Sharapova is coming off a semifinals appearance in the Rome Masters and has played her best tennis by far this season on clay. Sharapova is still having trouble putting her opponents away and has played a lot of three sets because of it, but she’s been able to grind out victories and that’s only going to increase her confidence moving forward. Sharapova can certainly improve her second serve percentage and the unforced error numbers to make matches easier and play less tennis, which is key in grand slam play. Sharapova hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2010 Australian Open. Sharapova has won eight of her last 11 matches on clay.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Richel Hogenkamp enters this tournament just 1-4 on the main tour and has lost 10 of her last 15 matches overall. Nothing has really gone right for Hogenkamp this season and she’s a player who has had little to no success in big tournaments throughout her career. The good news for the 26-year-old Hogenkamp is that she’s made the second round of a grand slam in three of her five grand slam appearances. In last years French Open, Hogenkamp produced a straight sets victory over Jelena Jankovic, so she’s proven at times she’s capable of rising to the occasion and can pull an upset. Hogenkamp hopes to make the second round of a grand slam for the fourth time in her career. Hogenkamp has lost three of her last four matches on clay.
These two have played once, which was in the 2015 Wimbledon, a match Sharapova won i straight sets. The match took 16 games to be decided.
Hogenkamp has done nothing as of late to suggest she’s capable of winning this match despite some OK success in grand slam play. Sharapova hasn’t made matches easy recently, but she’s finding ways to win and that’s only going to improve her getting back on track this season.
I’ll back Sharapova to win this match.