Practice photos: Suarez Navarro, Svitolina, Sabalenka, Kvitova, Pliskova prepare for Roland Garros

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The 2021 Roland Garros draw is out and main-draw action is just three days away. Photographer Jimmie48 attended a number of practice sessions this Thursday, keeping us up to date with players getting ready for the claycourt Grand Slam.

Carla Suarez Navarro has completely recovered from Hodgkin lymphoma and is back in Paris just four months after her last chemotherapy session. The two-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist will play the tournament one last time before retiring.

The Spaniard’s first-round obstacle is the 2017 US Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens who leads their head-to-head record 3-0.

Elina Svitolina debuted the Nike Summer RG Play T-Shirt from the new NikeCourt collection this Thursday. The cotton-blend tee with elongated short sleeves exists in white, obsidian and indigo haze. A print graphic on the front features an artistic representation of tennis players, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. The Swoosh is merged in the fun graphic and it is repeated in the back of the neck.

Aryna Sabalenka opted for the Nike Summer Heritage Dye Tank for her practice session. The world No.4 is entering the French Open on the wings of her Mutua Madrid Open triumph and a runner-up finish at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Two-time Roland Garros champion Jim Courier believes that Sabalenka’s aggressive style is a good fit for the claycourt game of today:

It’s a very good surface to play offensive tennis on, especially in this era when everyone has ample power given the equipment. I think she can be a real force. For me, it’s one of those scenarios where if she’s confident, she is tough for anybody to beat because she can cover the court and she can dominate from the center. I see no reason why she wouldn’t be able to break through that quarterfinal drought very quickly in Roland Garros, and if not there Wimbledon and the US Open.

Petra Kvitova was wearing the same printed Nike tank during her practice.

Nadia Podoroska made a career breakthrough at last year’s French Open by reaching the semifinals. The world No.42 has a tough opener against tenth seed Belinda Bencic.

The only Grand Slam Angelique Kerber hasn’t won yet is the French Open. The German hasn’t even been past the quarterfinals in Paris.

Karolina Pliskova was practicing with coach Sascha Bajin this Thursday.

The Czech was wearing these colorful Fila shoes.

The ninth-seeded Pliskova’s first-round opponent Donna Vekic was also perfecting her game for the difficult opener awaiting her.

Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for more WTA updates from Roland Garros.


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