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  • Writer's pictureStarr Knight

The French Open Day 2: What To Expect

We saw the likes of Dimitrov, Makarova and Monfils win their first round matches yesterday.

It’s the second day of the French open with half of the first-round draws still to be played.

Who do you think will advance to the second round?

Rafael Nadal vs. Simone Bolelli

Coming into the tournament as the clear favourite, 10-time champion; Rafael Nadal will be looking to continue his reign as the king of clay against his last-minute replacement; Simone Bolelli. They have played each other five times, and Nadal has won all five of them.

My prediction: Nadal in straight sets.

Petra Kvitova vs. Verónica Cepede Royg

Having gone through one hell of a year last year, Kvitova is coming back strong, and ready to put her stamp on the 2018 french open.

My prediction: Kvitova in straight sets

Rogerio Dutra Silva vs. Novak Djokovic

He’s back, but will he be able to challenge for his second french open title. He hasn’t had the best clay season, but his performance in Rome will give him some confidence. Silva sits outside the top 100, and shouldn’t cause much trouble for the former world number one.

My prediction: Djokovic in four sets.

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Danielle Rose Collins

The second seed; Wozniacki will be looking to make it through to the second week at Roland Garros and I expect this to be a very easy win.

My prediction: Wozniacki will barely lose a game, let alone a set.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs. Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka is coming into the french open seeded 23rd, with a french open title under his belt. His lead up to RG has been less than impressive. Lopez on the other hand, has had more success. This could be a huge upset.

My prediction: Garcia-Lopez in five sets.

Andrea Petkovic vs. Kristina Mladenovic

Doubles specialist; Mladenovic comes into this with a slight advantage, but Petkovic has the experience, and clay-court form to cause an upset here.

My prediction: A first round upset. Petkovic in straight sets.

Andreas Seppi vs. Richard Gasquet

Seeded 27th; Gasquet comes into the french open as the “most-likely-to” frenchman after making it to the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and the semi-finals in Marrakech. Seppi however, qualified, and made it to round of 16 in Monte Carlo, and semi-finals in Budapest.

My prediction: A difficult one, but Gasquet in four sets with the home crowd cheering him on.

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.

Benoit Paire vs. Roberto Carballes Baena

A french favourite will play against a not-so-well-performing spaniard. This shouldn’t be too difficult.

My prediction: Paire in straight sets.

Dominic Thiem vs. Ilya Ivashka

Seeded 7th, the 24-year old Austrian will be looking to challenge for the title, after making it to the semi-finals two years in a row. He will play 24-year old Belarusian Ivashka.

My prediction: Thiem in straight sets, and into the second week.

Laura Siegemund vs. Coco Vandeweghe

Whilst Siegemund had a great 2017, landing herself with a world ranking of 127th, she couldn’t be further from that going into this match at world number 318. Vandeweghe is seeded 15th for the tournament.

My prediction: Vandeweghe in straight sets.

Barbora Krejcikova vs. Karolina Pliskova

The higher ranked of the two Pliskova sisters; Karolina will be looking to make an impact at the french open as a former world number one who hasn’t won a grand slam.

My prediction: Pliskova in straight sets.

Victoria Azarenka vs. Katerina Siniakova

Former world number one and two-time grand slam champion; Azarenka is back but hasn’t had the best clay court season. She will play 22-year old Siniakova who is ranked top 10 in doubles.

My prediction: Azarenka is back to shake up the draw. A straight set win for the former world number one.

Madison Keys vs. Sachia Vickery

13th seed; Madison Keys will play fellow american Vickery in her first round match.

My prediction: Keys in straight sets and into the second week.

Gilles Simon vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili

Basilashvili made it to the second round in rome, losing to Djokovic in straight sets. He will play french favourite; Simon who has always been one to put in a great performance in front of his home crowd.

My prediction: Simon in five sets.

John Isner vs. Noah Rubin

I’m sure the young american Rubin would have preferred a different opponent in his first round of the french open. Does he stand a chance against his top-10 seeded counterpart?

My prediction: Isner in straight sets.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Carlos Taberner

19-year old Tsitsipas is currently at his career high, and will come into the french open as one of the youngest in the draw. He will play 20-year old Spaniard; Taberner.

My prediction: Tsitsipas in four sets.

Sam Querrey vs. Frances Tiafoe

American vs American. The 12th seed; Querrey will play the young Robby Ginepri protege and may cause the hard hitting 12th seed some problems.

My prediction: Querrey will triumph in a long five-setter.

Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Luksika Kumkhum

Ranked inside of the top 20, Rybarikova will be looking to improve on her current clay court season with a win over Kumkhum.

My prediction: Rybarikova in straight sets.

Lucie Safarova vs. Jessika Ponchet

Former world number 5 in singles, and world number 1 in doubles; Safarova will be looking to beat the french wildcard in the first round of her french open challenge.

My prediction: Safarova in a very quick two sets.

Sofia Kenin vs. Naomi Osaka

The 19-year old American will have a tough time against seeded Japanese star; Naomi Osaka.

My prediction: Osaka in straight sets and into the second week.

Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Denis Istomin

He’s at a career high of 13th, and history tells us that seeded Spaniards tend to do very well.

My prediction: Bautista Agut in four sets.

Diego Schwartzman vs. Calvin Hemery

The young 6 ft 3 frenchman; Hemery will be looking to capitalise on his wildcard entry to the french open. Diego Schwartzman comes into the french open seeded 11th and confident after a strong performance in Madrid.

My prediction: The seeded player will have too much power for the young frenchman. Schwartzman in four sets.

Heather Watson vs. Oceane Dodin

Dodin comes into this match as the underdog. Watson hasn’t played in over a month and lost in the first round in both clay court tournaments this season. Dodin also not having the best clay court season.

My Prediction: A safe bet. Watson to win with more experience in straight sets.

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Ana Konjuh

Navarro is one to keep an eye on at the french open, and her 104th ranked opponent; Konjuh is unlikely to cause an upset here.

My prediction: Navarro in straight sets and into the second week.

Borna Coric vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber

The 22nd seed; Kohlschreiber is a seasoned veteran as one of the oldest competitors at 34 years old. He will be playing Coric who is 13 years his junior. Eagerness vs experience. Experience for the win.

My prediction: Kohlschreiber in straight sets.

Varvara Lepchenko vs. Elise Mertens

Coming off the back of winning Morocco; Elise Mertens will be a strong second-week favourite seeded 72 places ahead of her first-round opponent; Lepchenko.

My prediction: Mertens in straight sets.

Caroline Dolehide vs. Viktorija Golubic

The Swiss Golubic took world number one; Halep to three sets in the Fed Cup earlier this year. Dolehide won in Indian Harbour Beach and beat a number of higher ranked players along the way. This is a tough one to call.

My prediction: A tight three-setter, with the American; Dolehide coming out on top.

Rebecca Peterson vs. Su-Wei Hsieh

Doubles specialist; Hsieh will be looking to put in a good performance in the singles tournament but Peterson has talent, and may cause an upset here.

My prediction: An upset. Peterson in three tight sets.

Mirza Basic vs. Adam Pavlasek

Beating Gael Monfils in Munich, and qualifying in Monaco; Mirza Basic will be the one worth betting on in this match against the 23-year old Pavlasek.

My prediction: Basic to win in four sets.

Camila Giorgi vs. Grace Min

Grace Min will come into this match as the underdog. Min hasn’t had the best results, and I don’t think this one will go her way either.

My prediction: Giorgi in straight sets.

Jiri Vesely vs. Dusan Lajovic

Vesely, formerly ranked 35 will be looking to score a good win against 27-year old Serbian; Lajovic.

My prediction: Vesely in four sets.

Jordan Thompson vs. Casper Ruud

I don’t know much about either of these players only that one has been consistently inside of the top 100 whereas the other hasn’t.

My prediction: Probably a long one to make use of the occasion. Thompson in four sets.

Ernests Gulbis vs. Gilles Muller

A very tough match to call. Gulbis at one point was a star of the future. A forehand that at it's best, was a force to be reckoned with and a millionaire family with the money to give him the toolkit he needed to be a champion. Now, at 160 in the world, the future doesn’t look so bright.

My prediction: Muller will take this match in four sets.

Marcos Baghdatis vs. Santiago Giraldo

A favourite of mine; Baghdatis will take on another favourite of mine; Giraldo. A match I will definitely be watching but who will win?

My prediction: Maybe the toughest match to predict today. I have to go with Baghdatis in a long five-setter.

Belinda Bencic vs. Deborah Chiesa

Two young talents will battle it out for a second-round place. It won’t be much of a battle though... it’s an easy choice.

My prediction: Bencic in straight sets.

Bernarda Pera vs. Elena Vesnina

The world number two in doubles; Vesnina will be looking to record a first-round win against the 23-year old american; Pera. She had a good run in Madrid, qualifying and making it to round of 16 but is 30 places behind Vesnina in the rankings.

My prediction: A very difficult match to predict. Pera to cause an upset here and win in straight sets.

Kaia Kanepi vs. Daria Kasatkina

The 14th seed; Kasatkina may have quite a hard time against former top-20 player; Kanepi.

My prediction: I’m going for an upset here. Kanepi in three sets.

Tatjana Maria vs. Kirsten Flipkens

Ranked just five places apart, this will be quite a close match. Experience will win this match.

My prediction: Flipkens in three sets.

Horacio Zeballos vs. Yuichi Sugita

The Japanese favourite hasn’t had much luck this year, and I doubt it’s going to get any better for him as he faces the upcoming Argentinian.

My prediction: Zeballos in four sets.

Karen Khachanov vs. Andreas Haider-Maurer

Ranked number 38 in the world, Khachanov will face the 412th world-ranked Haider-Maurer.

My prediction: Khachanov in straight sets.

Mihaela Buzarnescu vs. Vania King

Doubles specialist; Vania King will take on 31st seed; Buzarnescu in her first round. Buzarnescu has the confidence, coming into the french after making it to the finals in Prague.

My prediction: Buzarnescu in straight sets.

Alberto Ramos-Vinolas vs. Mikhail Kukushkin

You can never bet against a spaniard on clay, especially when they are playing an out-of-form Kukushkin.

My prediction: Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets.

Kateryna Bondarenko vs. Donna Vekic

Donna Vekic has had a strong clay court season whilst Bondarenko will be hoping that her experience as a regular top 30 player will help her win this match.

My prediction: Vekic in three sets.

David Ferrer vs. Jaume Munar

Ferrer hasn’t made a grand-slam semi-final since 2013, but he will be confident enough to make it to the second round.

My prediction: Ferrer in four sets.

Lesia Tsurenko vs. Stefanie Voegele

Beating Alize Cornet in Prague, Voegele may have more confidence coming into this match, but I still don’t think she will win.

My prediction: Tsurenko in three sets.

Joao Sousa vs. Guido Pella

Joao Sousa will be coming into this match as the firm favourite, after putting in a strong performance in Estoril and Marrakech. The left-handed Argentinian; Pella has been playing in a number of clay tournaments leading up to this match, but his form is questionable.

My prediction: Sousa in four sets.

Mandy Minella vs. Maria Sakkari

Sakkari; the greek 22-year old will have no problem against 307th world-ranked Minella.

My prediction: Sakkari in straight sets.

Anastasija Sevastova vs. Mariana Duque-Marino

20th seed; Sevastova will play Duque-Marino from Columbia.

My prediction: Sevastova in three sets.

Malek Jaziri vs. Mikhail Youzhny

This is going to be a very difficult match to call. If we look at experience in big tournaments, you’d go with a Youzhny win but Jaziri qualified for main draw in Italy, made it to the finals in Istanbul and took Dimitrov to three sets in Barcelona.

My prediction: I’m going with my gut. Jaziri to win in five sets.

Marco Cecchinato vs. Marius Copil

Italian Cecchinato is one to watch for this tournament. He won in Budapest, got to the second round in Monte Carlo, and beat compatriot Fognini in Munich. He will play Romanian Copil.

My prediction: Cecchinato in straight sets. One to watch out for.

Matthew Ebden vs. Thomas Fabbiano

Both seasoned pros, with 10+ years on the pro circuit but Ebden has failed to play any clay court matches whereas Fabbiano played five, and performed well in two of them.

My Prediction: It’s a close one, but I think Fabbiano will have more confidence and will take this in five sets.

Georgina Garcia Perez vs. Dalila Jakupovic

Just 6 ranking places separates the two women, so this match could go either way.

My prediction: Perez in three sets.

Keep an eye on Nadal, Baghdatis, Muller, Isner, Ferrer, Azarenka, Navarro and Keys for some great first-round matches.


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