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  • Writer's pictureStarr Knight

French Open Day 7: What To Expect

The bottom half of the draw played their first round matches yesterday, and we said goodbye to a number of top seeds in both the mens and womens drawers.

It’s time for the top half of the draw to play. There will also be the conclusion of the Pouille/Khachanov match, as well as the Monfils/Goffin match. Both Stephens/Giorgi and Kvitova/Kontaveit also got moved to today following yesterday's early evening rainfall.

Here are my predictions for today.

Fabio Fognini vs. Kyle Edmund

One of the best personalities in tennis; Fognini is back, and ready to cause some problems at the french open. Fognini has the most success on the red clay, having won four ATP singles titles on it, and made the quarter-finals of the french open in 2011. He is a grand slam doubles champion, along with Simone Bolelli and became the first Italian men’s pair to win a GS title in the open era.

Kyle Edmund is an Australian Open semi-finalist and only the sixth British male player to play in a major singles semi-final. He has won two junior GS doubles titles, and so far; has had an impressive clay court season.

They are ranked just one place apart, and with them never having played each other before, this is going to be quite the match.

My prediction: Kyle Edmund in five sets.

Irina-Camelia Begu vs. Caroline Garcia

Irina-Camelia Begu has never made it past the fourth round at Roland Garros. Clay is, however; her favourite surface.

She will face 7th seed; Caroline Garcia. She has won five singles and six doubles titles on the WTA tour, one singles and one doubles title on the WTA 125K series, and has one singles and four doubles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit.

My prediction: This should be a relatively easy match for Caroline Garcia so I’m going for a straight set win.

Julia Goerges vs. Serena Williams

She may be the higher seed in the match up, but Julia Goerges has never beaten Serena Williams. It has, however, been seven years since they have faced each other.

Goerges has won five singles and five doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy. In February 2018, she broke into the world top ten for the first time and is currently the German number one.

Serena Williams doesn’t need much of an introduction. In total, she has been No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks third in the Open Era among female players behind Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

Her total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles marks the record for the most Grand Slam wins by a tennis player in the Open Era, and is second on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24).

She is the only tennis player in history (man or woman) to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the only player ever to have won two Grand Slams seven times each (7 Wimbledon titles and 7 Australian Open titles). She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades.

My prediction: She may not be 100%, but Serena Williams has a point to prove, and Goerges won’t stand in her way. Williams in three sets.

John Isner vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Isner has 13 ATP titles, and in 2013, became the 18th player to serve more than 5,000 aces on the ATP tour. As it currently stands, he has 3rd-most aces in the history of ATP.

The big server will face two-times GS doubles champion; Pierre-Hugues Herbert. He has never made it past the third round of the french open before, and I think he is going to have a very hard time against John Isner.

My prediction: John Isner 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.

Mischa Zverev vs. Kevin Anderson

He may not be the talk of the tournament, but his surname will ring a bell. Mischa Zverev is the older brother of 2nd seed; Alexander Zverev.

He will face 6th seed; Kevin Anderson. He became the top-ranked male South African player on 10 March 2008 after making the final at the 2008 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas. He achieved his career-high ranking of world No. 7 on 14 May 2018. He is the first South African to be ranked in the top 10 since Wayne Ferreira was No. 10 on 5 May 1997.

My prediction: Kevin Anderson to move through to the fourth round in straight sets.

Marin Cilic vs. Steve Johnson

Over the course of his career, Cilic has won 17 ATP singles titles, including the 2014 US Open. He was also runner-up at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships and the 2018 Australian Open, losing to Roger Federer both times. Cilic has reached at least the quarter-finals.

Cilic will face American; Steve Johnson. He has reached the french open third round two years in a row, has won four ATP Challenger Tour titles and three ATP Tour 250 titles, one at Nottingham on grass and twice at Houston on clay. He won a bronze medal in men's doubles at the 2016 Olympics with Jack Sock.

My prediction: The hard-hitting Croatian will likely have too much power for Steve Johnson but it may take four sets to close out the match.

Angelique Kerber vs. Kiki Bertens

For me, this is an easy match to predict. I feel that Angelique Kerber is one of the most talented players on the women's tour. She is a former world number 1, 2-time grand slam champion and Wimbledon finalist.

Kerber will face 18th seed; Kiki Bertens who has won five WTA singles and 10 doubles titles. She is a clay court specialist, but I don’t think she will be able to challenge Kerber.

My prediction: Kerber in straight sets.

Camila Giorgi vs. Sloane Stephens

Known for her powerful playing style, and agressive, 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.

Diego Schwartzman vs. Borna Coric

Diego Schwartzman has won two ATP singles titles, and is currently number 12 in the world. He is known for his deadly return game, and being a clay-court specialist.

He will be playing Borna Coric. After overcoming Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round, Coric has been a strong player at RG. At just 21 years of age, he is one of the talented youngsters on the tour, and one to watch for the future.

My prediction: Unfortunately for Coric, I think his french open challenge will end today in straight sets.

Garbine Muguruza vs. Samantha Stosur

This is going to be an extremely tough match today. We have two former french open champions battling it out. Muguruza is seeded 3rd, but Stosur is extremely impressive on clay and will be a difficult opponent to beat.

My prediction: I still think Muguruza will win this, but it won’t be easy and may take three sets.

Simona Halep vs. Andrea Petkovic

She is the current world No. 1 on the WTA Tour, having previously held this position for 16 weeks between October 2017 and January 2018. Whilst she is the world number 1, she has not won a grand slam.

Her opponent; Andrea Petkovic has won six WTA titles, nine ITF singles titles and three ITF doubles titles. She, like Halep; has not won a grand slam either.

My prediction: I have a feeling that Halep will lose this match in three sets.

Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Lesia Tsurenko

Rybarikova has won four WTA singles titles and reached the semifinals of the women's singles at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.

Lesia Tsurenko is having her best Roland Garros to date, and has not yet won a title on the WTA tour. She does, however, have six ITF singles titles, and 10 ITF doubles titles.

My prediction: Rybarikova should win this in straight sets.

Maximilian Marterer vs. Jurgen Zopp

Marterer hasn’t had much success previous to 2018. At the Australian Open, Marterer won his first ATP main draw match. In the second round, he upset Fernando Verdasco in a five-setter before losing to Tennys Sandgren in the next round. He, of course, knocked out Shapovalov in the second round.

Jurgen Zopp defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round of qualifying for the french open. Although he lost in the final round of qualifying to Denis Kudla it was enough for him to make the main draw as a lucky loser. In the first round he defeated American seed Jack Sock for his sixth tour level win on clay. He then defeated fellow lucky loser Ruben Bemelmans despite losing the first two sets, therefore reaching a career-best third round at Grand Slam events.

My prediction: I think Jurgen Zopp could make it to the next round, but it will take five sets.

Daria Gavrilova vs. Elise Mertens

They have met three times before, the most recent being at the 2018 Australian Open where Mertens Gavrilova in straight sets. On clay, they have one win a-piece but it does seem like Gavrilova has the upper hand, especially on clay.

My prediction: Daria Gavrilova in three sets.

Maria Sharapova vs. Karolina Pliskova

Following her tennis ban, Maria Sharapova is in good form, but will have a hard time against the 6th seed; Karolina Pliskova who has had a good two years on the WTA circuit. She made the quarter-finals two years in a row at the Australian Open, the semi-finals of RG last year, and the final of the 2016 US Open.

My prediction: Karolina Pliskova in three sets.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs. Juan Martin Del Potro

This is a match that I won’t be missing today. I haven’t seen much of Ramos-Vinolas, but I know that on clay, he is extremely powerful and a difficult person to play.

Del Potro is seeded 5th, and also playing well, but I think there could be an upset here.

My prediction: Ramos-Vinolas in five sets.

Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet

The world number 1; Rafael Nadal has won every single match against frenchman; Richard Gasquet and they have played 15 times. It will be a good match, and I’m sure the french open crowd won’t know who to support!

My prediction: Rafael Nadal has been playing extremely well, and will win this match in straight sets, and possibly the tournament next Sunday.


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