French Open Day 6: What To Expect
Six days into the French Open, and it has been an eventful tournament.
We are now in the third round, and with the likes of Zverev, Wozniacki, Djokovic, Monfils, Dimitrov and Kvitova playing, it's going to be a great day.
Here are my predictions for today’s match play.
Damir Dzumhur vs. Alexander Zverev
Džumhur is the first male player to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in the main draw of any Grand Slam tournament. His career-best ranking of 30 makes him the highest-ranked player ever competing for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Whilst the above is amazing, this won’t help him in his match against the second seed; Alexander Zverev. There is a small chance he could win, but it would have to be the performance of a lifetime.
My prediction: Alexander Zverev in four sets.
Pauline Parmentier vs. Caroline Wozniacki
She’s not at her career best, and hasn’t been for 10 years but Pauline Parmentier has made it through to the third round.
Caroline Wozniacki has won 28 WTA singles titles, including six in 2010 and 2011, the most in a year by a WTA player from 2008–2011. She was also the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top ranking position.
My prediction: Caroline Wozniacki has been impressive thus far, and I don’t think her winning streak will stop here. The 2nd seed should win this in straight sets.
Lucas Pouille vs. Karen Khachanov
Lucas finished the 2017 season as the only player to win at least one ATP World Tour singles title on each surface - Budapest (clay), Stuttgart (grass) and Vienna (indoor hard courts). He has also made it to the quarter-finals of both the US Open, and Wimbledon in 2016, but has never made it past the third round at the French Open.
Karen Khachanov has won a number of challenger events in his career, and two ATP 250 events; Chengdu Open in 2016, and Open 13 in 2018. As much as he would like to repeat last years performance and make the fourth round, I don’t think he will be able to today.
My prediction: Lucas Pouille in four sets.
Camila Giorgi vs. Sloane Stephens
Known for her powerful playing style, and aggressive, hard-hitting flat groundstrokes; Camila Giorgi has a relatively decent tennis record, mainly in 2013 and 2014. She has, however, won more matches against top-10 players than she has lost.
She will face 10th seed; Sloane Stephens. Sloane won her first grand slam in 2017. She became the lowest ranked player to win a women's singles title and the first American woman, apart from the Williams sisters to win a GS since the legendary Jennifer Capriati in 2002.
My prediction: This is a really tough match to call, but I’m going to have to go with the American in three sets.
Madison Keys vs. Naomi Osaka
Madison Keys was on the other side of the net in the 2017 US Open final, playing fellow American; Sloane Stephens. She is coached by former world number 1, and three-time grand slam champion; Lindsay Davenport.
Naomi Osaka became an overnight sensation in 2017. She beat Venus Williams in the second round of the Hong Kong Open, and made it to the quarter-finals. At Indian Wells earlier this year, she beat Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwańska and Karolina Pliskova.
She then took on Serena Williams at the Miami Open, and won that match too.
My prediction: Two very strong players, but I think Naomi Osaka will take this in three sets.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Novak Djokovic
Roberto Bautista Agut is the first Spaniard younger than Rafael Nadal to get inside the Top 20. His breakthrough year came in 2014 at the Australian Open. He faced Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round, and recorded one of the biggest upsets, winning an amazing five-setter match.
He will face Novak Djokovic. He has won 12 grand slams, five ATP tour finals, 30 Masters 100 series, 12 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments and held the number 1 spot in the ATP rankings for 223 weeks. In 2016, he became one of only eight players in the history of tennis to achieve the career grand slam.
My prediction: It will be an interesting match, and depending on what Djokovic “turns up”, it could be a straight set win, or a long five-setter.
David Goffin vs. Gael Monfils
David Goffin is seeded 8th for Roland Garros, and is the highest ranked Belgian male and the first to reach the world's top 10. He has won four ATP titles and runner up at seven. Goffin reached the quarter-finals at the 2016 French Open, and 2017 Australian Open.
He recorded his best wins at the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals where he beat Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
David Goffin will face former world number 6 and arguably the most popular french player on the tour; Gael Monfils. He became a top-25 player in 2006, and reached the french open semi-finals in 2008. He won his fourth ATP title in 2011, before a tough 2012 where he was hampered by a number of different injuries. He has always performed well at Roland Garros, but will David Goffin be too strong a player for him today?
My prediction: I would love Monfils to win, but I think David Goffin will take this match in four sets.
Petra Kvitova vs. Anett Kontaveit
Petra Kvitova is known for her powerful left-handed play. She has won 24 career singles titles, including Wimbledon in 2011, and in 2014. In 2017, she was robbed at her home by a knife-wielding attacker, and sustained tendon and nerve damage to her left hand. This, of course was both traumatising as well as career-defining injury. She has come back strong since, and will face 25th seed; Anett Kontaveit.
Anett Kontaveit has won one singles title on the WTA tour, and 11 singles and five doubles on the ITF tour. She is now at her best singles ranking, and was the youngest Estonian player to win the Estonian Championships in 2009, and 2010.
My prediction: Kontaveit is a talented player, but Petra Kvitova is playing some of her best tennis. It may take three sets, but Kvitova should win this.
Fernando Verdasco vs. Grigor Dimitrov
In my opinion, two of the most visually-pleasing tennis players.
Since 2009, Verdasco has been working with Andre Agassi and his team in Las Vegas. He was part of a three-time winning Davis Cup team, and played the deciding match in both 2008, and 2009. His semi-final match against Rafael Nadal at the 2009 Australian Open will go down in history as one of the best semi-final matches of all time.
Grigor Dimitrov is one of the most well-like tennis players on tour and is the most successful Bulgarian male tennis player, and the only Bulgarian tennis player to be ranked inside of the top 10. Whilst he has won a number of events including the ATP World Tour Finals, he has yet to win a Grand Slam, and has never made it past the third round of the french open.
My prediction: This is one match I want to watch. It’s going to be extremely tight, but I think Dimitrov will win in five sets.
Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. Elina Svitolina
Mihaela Buzarnescu is from Romania, and reached a career high ranking of 32 last month. She has won just one WTA, but has grand slam titles under her belt as a junior player.
Elina Svitolina has won 12 WTA singles titles, and reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open. In 2017, she became the first Ukrainian woman to break into the top-10 rankings.
My prediction: This should be an easy two-setter match for Svitolina.
Dominic Thiem vs. Matteo Berrettini
Dominic Thiem is an Austrian professional tennis player who has a career-high ATP ranking of world No. 4, which he first achieved on 6 November 2017. He has won ten singles titles on the ATP Tour.
Matteo Berrettini may be a new name to you, as his notable wins have been on the Challenger and Future tours.
My prediction: Dominic Thiem in straight sets.
Daria Kasatkina vs. Maria Sakkari
Daria Kasatkina is a Russian tennis player who reached her career-high singles ranking of 11, and 43 in doubles. She is coached by Vladimir Platenik and has won one singles, and one doubles WTA title. She won the french open as a Junior in 2014.
Maria Sakkari is a Greek player, and reached her career high of 39 just before the french open. Tennis runs in her blood, as her mother Angeliki Kanellopoulou was a former top-50 player. In 2017 she reached the third round of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
My prediction: I’m going for an upset here. Maria Sakkari in three sets.
Kei Nishikori vs. Gilles Simon
Kei Nishikori is the only male Japanese tennis player to have ever been ranked inside of the top 5. He has won 11 singles titles, and was runner-up at the 2014 US Open, making him the first male player representing an Asian country to reach a GS final.
Gilles Simon has reach the quarter-finals of a grand slam twice, and since 2011, has reached at least the third round of the french open (bar last year).
My prediction: Kei Nishikori in four sets.
Marco Cecchinato vs. Pablo Carreno Busta
In April, Marco Cecchinato won his first ATP title at the Hungarian Open. In doing this, he became the first Sicilian tennis player to win an ATP title.
He will face 10th seed; Pablo Carreno Busta. He was the runner-up at the 2016 US Open in doubles, but has also made headway as a singles play with a career high ranking. He had, until now, never made it past the second round of the french open.
My prediction: This could go either way. I’m going for a Cecchinato win in five sets.
Yulia Putintseva vs. Qiang Wang
Born in Russia, but playing for Kazakhstan; Yulia Putintseva comes into the tournament unseeded, and had never made it further than the first round until now.
Putintseva will play Qiang Wang of China. She has won 13 singles titles on the ITF circuit, but has never really challenged for any titles on the WTA circuit.
My prediction: Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.
Katerina Siniakova vs. Barbora Strycova
Katerina Siniakova won her first WTA women's title in 2017 and made the semi-final of the french open in 2016, and 2017.
Siniakova will face 26th seed; Barbora Strycova. She has won two WTA tournaments, and 9 ITF tournaments. She made the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2015.
My prediction: Katerina Siniakova in three sets.
Let the games begin!