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  • Writer's pictureStarr Knight

French Open Day 3: What To Expect

Updated: May 30, 2018

So far, we have seen some amazing battles, and some even more amazing loses.

Today is the final day of first round matches. Here is who you can expect to see in action, and my predictions.

Marin Cilic vs. Jack Duckworth

Five months of no play, and Jack Duckworth makes his way through qualifying to face the Croatian world number 4; Marin Cilic in the first round.

My prediction: Cilic in a quick and easy straight set win.

Kristyna Pliskova vs. Serena Williams

The will-she-wont-she-be-seeded saga around Serena Williams has come to an end, and she has entered the draw unseeded. She will face the lower ranked Pliskova sister.

My prediction: Williams in three sets.

Jeremy Chardy vs. Tomas Berdych

A french favourite will play against a man who has come close to winning a grand slam once, and made it to the semi-finals twice at the Australian Open, once at the US Open and once at the French Open. The frenchman has known to cause an upset.

My prediction: Chardy in five sets.

Simona Halep vs. Alison Riske

The world number one; Simona Halep has this in the bag. Alison Riske failed to win a single match in qualifying at Madrid, and Rome and couldn’t beat the lower-ranked Dalila Jakupovic in Bogota.

My prediction: Halep in straight sets.

Denis Shapovalov vs. John Millman

Canada vs. Australia. At just 19 years old, left-handed Shapovalova has been tipped as a future star. He made it to the semi-finals in Madrid, and round of 16 in Rome, losing to Nadal. Millman on the other hand, made it to the finals in Budapest, and won in Aix En Provence. Tough call as both have had a confident clay court season.

My prediction: Shapovalov in four sets. Too much talent to miss out on the second round.

Maria Sharapova vs. Richel Hogenkamp

Sharapova is back (much to my dismay) and will likely make it to the second week at the french open. Hogenkamp won’t cause any problems here.

My prediction: Sharapova in straight sets.

Ying-Ying Duan vs. Caroline Garcia

A favourite of mine to get deep into the second week; 7th seed Caroline Garcia takes on the world number 112; Duan in the first round.

My prediction: Garcia for the win. Duan will barely get on the scoreboard.

Nicolas Mahut vs. Juan Martín Del Potro

Two hard-hitters will battle it out, and it will definitely be a must-not-miss match.

My Prediction: Del Potro in four sets.

Garbine Muguruza vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

This is going to be a very difficult match for both players. Former french open, and US open winner; Kuznetsova will take on the 3rd seed; Muguruza who hasn’t had the best clay court performances this year.

My prediction: A huge upset here. Kuznetsova to win in three tight sets.

Steve Johnson vs. Adrian Mannarino

A fan-favourite; Mannarino comes into this match as the firm favourite.

My prediction: Mannarino in four sets.

Julia Goerges vs. Dominika Cibulkova

Two extremely capable women. Both lost to Garcia in previous clay court tournaments and this could be quite a lengthy battle on day 2.

My prediction: Julia Goerges in three sets.

Leonardo Mayer vs. Julien Benneteau

This is a close one. Both players over the 30-years of age mark, and have been on the tour for a very long time. Professionals, and willing to put in a strong performance.

My prediction: Definitely a five-setter. Benneteau with the crowd behind him.

Fiona Ferro vs. Carina Witthoeft

A quick, and easy win for the world number 58 as she sits almost 200 places ahead of her opponent; Fiona Ferro.

My prediction: Witthoeft in straight sets.

Jurgen Zopp vs. Jack Sock

Jack Sock comes into the french open as the 14th seed, and will have an easy match against the out-of-form Estonian.

My prediction: Jack Sock to win in straight sets.

Peter Polansky vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Coming into the french open, Herbert has more high-seeded wins under his belt, but looking at experience, Polansky may cause an upset here.

My prediction: A tight five-setter that Herbert will win if the crowd gets behind him.

Sam Stosur vs. Yanina Wickmayer

Former US Open champion, and french open finalist; Sam Stosur will face German; Yanina Wickmayer in her opening round match.

My Prediction: Stosur for the win, and second week place in the french open. Straight sets.

Alex De Minaur vs. Kyle Edmund

Britains number 2; Kyle Edmund has had an impressive clay court season and will no doubt put up a great fight against the Australian ranked outside of the top 100.

My prediction: Kyle Edmund for the win in four sets.

Natalia Vikhlyantseva vs. Ashleigh Barty

Only a year apart, both are going to be women to watch out for in the coming years, but one does have an edge over the other.

My prediction: Barty in straight sets.

Myrtille Georges vs. Taylor Townsend

Whilst only playing clay tournaments in America leading up to the french open; Townsend is in good form, and is not going to have much difficulty making it into the second round.

My prediction: Townsend in straight sets.

Irina-Camelia Begu vs. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Begu comes into this french open having beaten Shuai Peng in Rome and Ostapenko in Madrid. Schmiedlova also had a good win against Heather Watson in Prague.

My prediction: Begu in three sets.

Ana Bogdan vs. Marketa Vondrousova

Vondrousova would have been my choice if the french open was a month ago. She performed extremely well in Stuttgart, but retired against Svitolina and hasn’t played a match since. Bogdan had a good run in Bogota and beat Kristina Mladenovic in the Australian Open.

My prediction: Ana Bogdan to take this in three sets.

Alison Van Uytvanck vs. Isabelle Wallace

Uytvanck beat Errani, Dodin, Stosur, Wang and Mattek-Sands during her clay court tournaments pre-french open. Wallace on the other hand, hasn’t impressed.

My prediction: Uytvanck in straight sets.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs. Denisa Allertova

Sasnovich has played some of the best in the clay court season, but has failed to make her mark. Alletova, sitting outside the top-100, doesn’t have enough experience to make an impact here.

My prediction: Sasnovich in straight sets.

Daria Gavrilova vs. Sorana Cirstea

Both playing three clay court tournaments before their french open journey, and there isn’t much between the two of them. Cirstea has more experience, but Gavrilova put in a strong performance in Rome.

My prediction: Gavrilova in three long sets.

Dudi Sela vs. Elias Ymer

Having only played challengers pre-french open, Sela hasn’t been all that impressive. The young sweed; Ymer is one to watch out for.

My prediction: Ymer in four sets.

Feliciano Lopez vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky

One of my favourite spaniards; 28th seed Feliciano Lopez will take on Ukrainian Stakhovsky who has had a poor clay season.

My prediction: Lopez in straight sets. Easy.

Paolo Lorenzi vs. Kevin Anderson

The hard hitting, 6 ft 8 South African; Anderson comes into the french open as the 6th seed. He faces 36-year old Italian; Lorenzi in his first round.

My prediction: Anderson in three very quick sets. No question about it.

Fabio Fognini vs. Pablo Andujar

One of the best personalities in tennis; Fognini is back, and ready to cause some problems at the french open. Andujar beat Kyle Edmund in Marrakech to win the tournament, but other performances have been lackluster.

My prediction: This might be tight, but Fognini has the edge and will win in five sets.

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Kiki Bertens

The 18th seed; Bertens beat Wozniacki, Sharapova and Caroline Garcia in Madrid to get to the finals whereas Sabalenka hasn’t been able to get past the first round of any of the clay court tournaments she’s played.

My prediction: Bertens in a quick, straight set win.

Angelique Kerber vs. Mona Barthel

With a career high of 23; Mona Barthel has the talent to challenge the 12th seed and fellow German compatriot; Kerber.

My prediction: A tough match, but Kerber to win in three sets.

Aljaz Bedene vs. Pablo Cuevas

The ever-confusing is he isn’t he british; Bedene will take on Pablo Cuevas who, at 32-years of age, is still putting in some great performances.

My prediction: Cuevas in a long five-setter.

Yuki Bhambri vs. Ruben Bemelmans

They have been hanging around the top-100 mark but Bhambri has yet to play on clay this season.

My prediction: Bemelmans in four sets despite being the lower ranked of the two.

Shuai Peng vs. Aleksandra Krunic

A former top-15 singles player, and world number one doubles player; Shuai Peng takes on Serbian; Krunic. Peng is not in form and Krunic is performing better than expected.

My prediction: A Serbian win. Krunic to win in three sets.

Ryan Harrison vs. Maximilian Marterer

This is a relatively even match up but Marterer has better form after making it to the semi-finals in Munich.

My prediction: Marterer in four sets. Harrison could take this if his forehand and serve is on form.

Polona Hercog vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Former world number 13; Pavlyuchenkova faces 6ft Slovenian; Polona Hercog. Neither in the best of form, but the experienced Russian should prevail.

My prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in three tight sets.

Evgeny Donskoy vs. Jan-Lennard Struff

Clay court season performance will be crucial here as there's not much that separates the two of them.

My prediction: I’m going for a long five setter that Jan-Lennard Struff will win.

Vasek Pospisil vs. Marton Fucsovics

Pospisil will be looking to get back to improve on his poor ranking, as a former top-25 player. He will face the world number 60 from Hungary.

My prediction: Pospisil in straight sets.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Johanna Larsson

This is going to be an interesting match as two double-specialists go head-to-head in this singles match. Larsson inside the top 100, Mattek-Sands outside the top 200. Neither performing all that well in the clay season. Could go either way.

My prediction: Larsson in three sets. Mattek-Sands has been so out-of-form.

Shuai Zhang vs. Kristina Kucova

No doubt about it. Shuai Zhang as the 27th seed will have no problem overcoming her first round match against world-ranked 280; Kucova.

My prediction: Zhang in a quick straight set win.

Mischa Zverev vs. Florian Mayer

The older brother of the 2nd seed; Zverev will be taking on fellow german; Florian Mayer.

Zverev tends to make his way into the second week of grand slams relatively easy, and I think the same could be said here.

My prediction; Mischa Zverev to win in four sets.

Hubert Hurkacz vs. Tennys Sandgren

Sandgren will come into this as the favourite. He performed well in Houston and it should be enough to outplay the 21-year old Polish; Hurkacz.

My prediction: Sandgren in four sets.

Keep an eye on Zverev, Kerber, Fognini Lopez, Del Potro, Muguruza, Williams and Berdych for some great tennis.


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