Emma Navarro will attempt to make Aryna Sabalenka feel 'uncomfortable' ahead of Roland Garros crunch clash

Monday, 03 June 2024 at 11:00
One of the ties of the day at the 2024 French Open on Monday sees Emma Navarro who has emerged as one of the USA's big hopes face off against Aryna Sabalenka and she will look to harp back to Indian Wells memories.
Navarro who is the 22nd seed in Paris has spent the last month or so amid a recent injury and drop in ranking and form as a result playing WTA 125k tournaments. She reached the final of Trophee´ Clarins in Paris losing to Diana Shnaider who she is now teaming with in the doubles. But despite that defeat, it provided the tonic. She spoke to Express Sport ahead of facing Sabalenka and said that it is actually her favoured surface. She showed as such defeating her compatriot Madison Keys to reach this point.
“I always preferred clay,” Navarro said to Express Sport. “Growing up it was my preferred surface, I played a lot on green clay growing up. This year I had a lot of good results on hard court, the best that I’ve had in my career. Which was, not surprising I guess, but I’ve always had better results on clay. But I still really enjoy clay but I’m finding myself on a hard court as well.”
Defeating Sabalenka at Indian Wells earlier this season, Navarro has form in taking down the Belarusian. She said though that it is different but that she will try to make her feel uncomfortable with her game. "I think it’s definitely different. Obviously we’re the same players but it’s different on clay and things change from day to day.”
“Going to try to go into it and play an aggressive game and try to make her uncomfortable so [it’s] different but I’m excited."
It will also be the first time she plays on Centre Court in a tournament which adds another dynamic. “Maybe [it will be] a little overwhelming, just it being my first time playing on that court and first time playing on a centre court at a Grand Slam. But I’d be really excited for the opportunity and everything is a learning experience so just excited to get another learning experience under my belt.”

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