FRENCH OPEN 2015: Day 7 Preview

The Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka had identical 6-4,6-3,6-2 wins over their opponents Damir Dmuzhur of Bosnia and Steve Johnson of the U.S.A, respectively, on Day 6 in the round of 32 matches of the French Open. Japan’s Kei Nishikori had a walkover as the German Benjamin Becker could not take to the court as he sustained a shoulder injury in his marathon encounter against Fernando Verdasco while the Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili had a surprisingly easy win over Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic. In three matches the Russian has not dropped a set and won 6-4,6-4,6-4. Richard Gasquet became the seventh Frenchman into the round of 32 as he wasted little time winning the fifth set 6-1 against the Argentine Davis Cup player Carlos Berlocq in a match was suspended yesterday evening due to poor light with the two players locked at 2 sets apiece.

There was a lot at stake for the crowd as Five Frenchman were in action, the highest ranked Gilles Simon won the all French encounter against Nicholas Mahut in five sets. The unheralded Benoit Paire lost to the fourth ranked Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in 4 sets who next faces another Frenchman Jo Wilfred Tsonga. Tsonga took out the fatigued Spaniard Pablo Andujar in straight sets. Andujar had a tough five set win over the German Phillipe Kohlschreiber and after the first set which Tsonga claimed in a tie-break there was little resistance from the Spaniard.

In the most entertaining match of the tournament so far, the mercurial Gael Monfils rallied from the brink of defeat on court Suzanne Lenglen to beat the Argentina born Uruguyan Pablo Cuevas in five sets. Monfils was down for the count as he trailed 1-4 in the fourth set but 23rd ranked Cuevas was clearly nervous and the French man, spurred on by the partisan Paris crowd, won the next five games to win the fourth set 6-4 and force a decider. The local favorite lost serve in the opening game but the tide had turned and the 13th seeded Frenchman closed out the 3 hour and 25 minute encounter wrapping up the fifth set 6-3. That sets up a blockbuster fourth round match against Roger Federer, their third in six months. Monfils beat a half fit Federer in the Davis Cup final in November 2014 and followed it with another win in the third round at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters. In their U.S. Open quarter-final Federer had rallied from two sets down, in September 2014.

The top half matches to be played on Day 7 in the men’s section of the draw with my pick mentioned first :-

Novak Djokovic (1) v. Thanasi Kokkinakis

Richard Gasquet (20) v. Kevin Anderson (15)

Jack Sock v. Borna Coric

Rafael Nadal (6) v. Andrey Kuznetsov

Andy Murray (3) v. Nick Kyrgios (29)

Jeremy Chardy v. David Goffin (17)

Marin Cillic (9) v. Leonardo Mayer (23)

David Ferrer (7) v. Simone Bolleli

In the women’s section of the draw defending champion Maria Sharapova made short work of the 2010 finalist Samantha Stosur as she used her power packed groundstrokes in her 6-3,6-4 win that set up a fourth round match against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. Safarova defeated Sabine Lisicki of Belgium in an earlier match. Among the other winners include the Spaniard Garbine Muruguza, the Russian Ekaterina Makarova and the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. The Italian Flavia Penneta upset the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro while the 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic also progressed with an easy 6-0,6-3 win over the Croatian teenager Donna Vekic. There was a home win for Alize Cornet who reached the fourth round for the first time as she overcame Mirjana Lucic Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email:]

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