French Open Monday: Laura & Caro Clash
Published May 26, 2013 12:00
Monday, First Round
Court Suzanne Lenglen
 Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #10) vs. Laura Robson (GBR #37)
Head-to-head: first meeting
On Monday afternoon, adidas development team members and occasional practice partners Caroline Wozniacki and Laura Robson turn rivals in the most hotly anticipated first round match-up at Roland Garros. While Wozniacki is the higher-ranked and more experienced, she arrives in Paris on a five-match losing streak and in danger of dropping out of the Top 10.
Add into the mix Robson's penchant for an upset - she has defeated Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska in the past year - and all the ingredients for classic encounter are in place. Despite her struggles on the surface in 2013, Wozniacki is a multiple clay court title winner and she will hope her dogged counterpunching can frustrate the young Brit's raw shotmaking.
 Angelique Kerber (GER #8) vs. Mona Barthel (GER #35)
Head-to-head: Barthel leads 2-1
Angelique Kerber may be the standard bearer for German tennis, but she has been forced to play second fiddle to Mona Barthel on more than one occasion in recent times. Barthel's easy power has succeeded in punching holes through Kerber's usually watertight defenses often enough to score victories in two of their three meetings, including a one-sided affair earlier this year in Doha.
At Grand Slam level, though, experience is king and, in this field, Kerber holds a distinct advantage, having reached the fourth round or better in five of her last six appearances. She also holds the edge in regards to recent form, making the quarter and semifinals in Madrid and Stuttgart, while Barthel has fallen at the first hurdle at her past four outings.
 Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #22) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #39)
Head-to-head: Kuznetsova leads 2-1
Svetlana Kuznetsova did not take long to get back into the swing of things after her return from a knee injury at the start of the year, posting a flurry of notable wins as she quickly reestablished herself within the Top 50. However, progress has stalled somewhat of late, leading to the Russian, who won the title four years ago, just missing out on a seeded berth this fortnight.
The upshot of this is a first round meeting with her talented, if unpredictable, Fed Cup teammate Ekaterina Makarova. Like Makarova, Kuznetsova has all the shots, and her clay court nous ensures she starts as marginal favorite to reach the second round for the 10th consecutive year.