First day at the French Open wasn’t a start to savor for the fans or the organizers. Most matches were disrupted by heavy showers. Only five men’s singles matches could be completed. Kyrgios, Paire, Sijsling, Kuznetsov and Gabashvili registered wins while a handful of other matches were delayed and cancelled. Here are some exciting clashes to watch out for on day two, arranged in various categories:
1. TWO BIG MATCHES OF THE DAY
A- Stan Wawrinka vs Lukas Rosol:
Defending champion Stan Wawrinka will begin his title defence campaign against Rosol. The Swiss leads their H2H by four wins to none. He has had a moderate clay court season. He didn’t reach more than a quarterfinal at any of the three masters series played on clay in the last few weeks. And then, he won the Geneva Open.
Over the last few years, Stan has been one of those players who saves his best for the majors and unleashes the ‘Stanimal’ inside, on big stages. Rosol reached the semis at the Geneva Open, losing to the eventual champion. In their two meetings on clay, Stan has never won in straight sets. But it seems like he will be untroubled by his opponent today.
Prediction- Stan to win in three sets.
B- Andy Murray vs Radek Stepanek:
Murray will start his bid for a first trophy in the French capital. The Brit is brimming with confidence after his famous victories against Djokovic and Nadal in Rome finals and Madrid semifinals respectively. He faces a familiar foe, Stepanek. The two will contest in their 9th meeting today. Murray leads 6-2.
The last meeting came three weeks ago in Madrid where Andy was tested in his win against the Czech opponent. It’s fitting to say that Andy will win this easily because Stepanek has already played a few rounds of qualifying and also giving due consideration to the fact that the former is perhaps in the best form of his life on clay. He will be tested again, but this time he will make through easily.
Prediction- Murray to win in straight sets.
2. SOME MORE MATCHES TO WATCH OUT FOR
A- Milos Raonic vs Janko Tipsarevic
They’ve played against each other four times, with Raonic winning all the meetings. The last meeting came back in 2013 where Milos was given a tough time before coming away with the win. One has take into account the fact that Raonic has evolved drastically as a player since then. He will come out strong against Tipsarevic and will look to carry the good form for the next two weeks to come.
Prediction- Raonic in three
B- Thomaz Bellucci vs Richard Gasquet
Local hope Gasquet leads their head to head by three wins to none. They’ve played twice on clay and once at Roland Garros, back in 2011. Considering the recent form of both of the players, seems like it will be not be a cakewalk for the winner.
Prediction- Gasquet in four.
C- Grigor Dimitrov vs Victor Troicki
Dimitrov leads their head to head by two wins to one. Troicki won the last meeting between the two, this year in Sydney. Dimitrov has been struggling with his form lately. His last two crashes in the opening matches at the masters series are a clear evidence of his dipping form. If he fails to consolidate his chances today, a possible upset might be on the cards. But that seems a little unlikely because Dimitrov claims that he is ready for the tournament and feels good.
Prediction- Dimitrov in four.
3. AN ALL FRENCH AFFAIR
Julien Benneteau vs Lucas Pouille.
This will be a clash between two local hopes. They’ve played each other just once, back in 2013 where Benneteau got the better of his French counterpart. But if one considers their recent form, clearly Pouille is poised to win the clash, thanks to his semifinal run at the Rome Masters. And he will also take heart from his win against Ferrer en route his semifinal run.
Prediction- Pouille to win in four.
4. SOME MORE MOUTHWATERING CLASHES
Marin Cilic vs Marco Trungelliti
John Isner vs John Millman
Kyle Edmund vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Albert Ramos Vinolas vs Horacio Zeballos
Pablo Cuevas vs Tobias Kamke
Fernando Verdasco vs Steve Johnson
Ivan Dodig vs Mikhail Youzhny
5. LOCAL HOPES IN ACTION (French players’ names first)
Gilles Simon vs Rogerio Dutra Silva
Jeremy Chardy vs Leo Mayer
Adrian Mannarino vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Mathias Bourgue vs Jordi Samper Montana
6. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Due to heavy rain, the following matches were left midway, to be completed today-
Kei Nishikori vs Simeone Bolleli
Jack Sock vs Robin Haase
Dustin Brown vs Dudi Sela
-Vishakha Khandelwal [Vishakha is a Tennis Analyst for Sportz Cosmos. You can reach her at the gmail id : sportzcosmos]