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French Open 2021: Saturday Roland Garros Schedule and Bracket Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 11, 2021

Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova celebrates after defeating Maria Sakkari of Greece in their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Barbora Krejcikova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will meet for the first time in their careers for the 2021 French Open women's singles title on Saturday. 

Krejcikova picked off four seeded players to extend a three-year run of at least one unseeded player qualifying for the women's singles final at Roland Garros. 

Unseeded players are 1-1 in the last two finals. Iga Swiatek was a surprise winner last year when the tournament was moved to the fall. 

Pavlyuchenkova carries much more pedigree as a Grand Slam singles player, but she did not break through to the championship round until this year at Roland Garros. 

The 31st-seeded Russian advanced past the final eight at a major for the first time in seven quarterfinal appearances. The 29-year-old eliminated three top-21 seeds, including No. 3 seed Aryna Sabalenka, in her path to the final. 

Saturday's final on Court Philippe Chatrier starts at 9 a.m. ET and can be seen on NBC. 

       

Prediction

Krejcikova over Pavlyuchenkova

Krejcikova is in some of the best form of any tennis player on the planet right now. 

The unseeded Czech player is on an 11-match winning streak in singles play and advanced to the women's doubles final alongside Katerina Siniakova. 

Krejcikova has won 12 of 13 sets in doubles play at Roland Garros and earned four straight-set victories in the singles draw. 

The 25-year-old dominated in some of her victories and grinded out some tough set wins as well. In her semifinal, she won the first set over Maria Sakkari, dropped the second and then battled back to win 9-7 in the third set. 

In her quarterfinal, Krejcikova fought through a battle in the first-set tiebreak against Coco Gauff before she closed out the match in the second set. 

In the second through fourth rounds, Krejcikova did not lose a set as she eliminated three experienced players in Ekaterina Alexandrova, Elina Svitolina and Sloane Stephens. 

Those victories suggest she will be prepared for the battle against Pavlyuchenova, and the dominant set wins could be an indicator of what we will see on Saturday. 

Pavlyuchenova was not as strong in her three ranked matchups, all of which went to three sets. 

Those results are remarkable in their own right, but Pavlyuchenkova may not have the chance to work back into the final, like she did against Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka and Elena Rybakina. 

The three other wins from the Russian at Roland Garros came in straight sets over unseeded players. Krejcikova fits into that trend, but she is not playing like someone outside the top 32 women in the world right now. 

Perhaps the best indicator of what Krejcikova can bring to Saturday's final are her two final matches in Rome, where she beat 2020 French Open runner-up Sofia Kenin in straight sets and pushed Iga Swiatek to three sets in a loss. 

Since then, Krejcikova took home the title in Strasbourg, France, with five straight wins and has achieved immense success on the Paris clay. 

A championship would be the perfect ending to her form over the last three weeks. She is more than capable of finishing off Pavlyuchenkova when she gets the opportunity. 

      

Statistics obtained from WTATennis.com.

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