French Open 2017 : Day 2 Preview

After a very hot Day 1 at the Roland Garros, it is time to begin with day 2 at the Grand Slam. The matches to look forward are as follows:

[17] Roberto-Bautista Agut vs John Millman

The Spaniard leads the head-to-head, 2-0. The two meeting were held on hard surface, in 2016. Agut has dropped only 1 set against the Australian, who has got a protective ranking in Roland Garros

[5] Milos Raonic vs Steve Darcis

The Canadian and the Belgian will face each other for the first time. Going by Raonic’s performance on clay this season, it is well expected for him to win the opening match in 3 or 4 sets.

(LL) Andrey Rublev vs Diego Schwartzman

The two will also be meeting for the first time. The nextGen star is expected to give a fierce competition to the Argentine. Diego has a 55% winning record on clay, year to date. He won a clay title in 2016, in Istanbul last year, while the 19-year-old Russian has not played any clay tournaments this year. Rublev is expected to put up a good fight, regardless of what the result is, which may be the Russian winning in straight sets too.

[31] Gilles Simon vs Nikoloz Basilashvili

The French has won the only meeting they had, in Shanghai, in 2015. It was a 3 set victory, where Simon bageled Nikoloz in the decider. Simon has a 4-5 win-loss record on clay year to date, and has won 5 clay titles in his career, while Nikoloz has a 50% winning record on clay, year to date, including no titles. Simon can, be a threat he has always been, and can dominate the match well.

[14] Jack Sock vs Jiri Vesely

Sock has won all of the 3 previous meetings against Vesely. Their latest, and the only clay meeting was held in Rome this year, in the R32, where Sock won in 3 sets, where the final set was a tie-break, 7-6(1).

[2] Novak Djokovic vs Marcel Granollers

Djokovic leads the head-to-head, 3-0. They will meet for the first time after 2013, and they have never met before on clay. Out of the 3 straight sets victory against the Spaniard, Djokovic has won all the 8 sets, including 3 bagels. Clearly, the defending champion’s game will prevail again today.

[4] Rafael Nadal vs Benoit Paire

The king of clay will be playing his opening match against the Frenchman, Benoit Paire, against whom he leads the head-to-head, 2-0. In a bid to win his tenth title at Roland Garros. Their previous two meetings were held on clay, in 2013, where Nadal won in straight sets both the times. He can sweep away another straight set victory for the opening match today.

(Q) Simone Bolleli vs Nicolas Mahut

After a series of tournaments, Mahut has entered a draw, without playing the qualifiers, and will face Bolleli, the Italian qualifier, for the first time. The 2013 doubles finalist, has a 1-3 win-loss record on clay, year to date, while Simone has not played any clay matches as yet.

[10] David Goffin vs (Q) Paul Henri Mathieu

Another initial meeting match. Mathieu has played two clay tournaments, Estoril and Monte Carlo, and lost in the opening matches itself, while Goffin has a 10-4 win-loss record. Also, he has defeated 4 top 10 seeds this year, including a victory over Novak Djokovic, in the quarter-finals, at Monte Carlo. He has lost 3 matches to top 10 this year, of which, 2 were against Nadal, on clay, and 1 against Marin Cilic.

[30] David Ferrer vs Donald Young

The Spaniard leads the head-to-head, 1-0. He is expected to play a phenomenal game, as he has lost more matches this year, than he has won, i.e. 7-10 ratio, while his career index shows a 67% victory. Overall. He completed 700 career victories recently.

(PR) Ernest Gulbis vs [7] Marin Cilic

The Croat leads the head-to-head, 2-1, while the Latvian, Lord Gulbis, is known for creating big upsets at the tournaments. This will be one of the most interesting matches of the day, because the tables can turn either of the side, unpredictably.

[9] Alexander Zverev vs Fernando Verdasco

The Munich and the Rome champion, Alexander Zverev, will face the Spaniard, Verdasco for the third time, and the head-to-head stands at 1-1. Zverev can taste victory in the opening set, only if Verdasco allows it, which he hasn’t allowed ever, to anybody. He can give a very hard competition to the nextGen star.

On the women’s side, the interesting first meeting matches are

[11] Caroline Wozniacki vs Jaimee Fourlis

[13] Kristina Mladenovic vs Jennifer Brady

Lucie Safarova vs Veronica Cepede Royg

Andrea Petkovic vs Varvara Lepchenko

[14] Elena Vesnina vs Beatriz Haddad Maria

Kirsten Flipkens, will face Mandy Minella in the opening round, while Flipkens leads the head-to-head, 2-0. It will be their third meeting in 13 years, the first being at Napoli in 2004, and the second being at Linz, in 2016.

The seed number 2, Karolina Pliskova, will face Jie Zheng, against whom, she leads the head-to-head, 1-0, and is yet to drop a set against her. They last met at Hong Kong, where Pliskova dropped only 4 games in 2 sets.

 Another seeded player, [29] Ana Konjuh, will play against Danka Kovinic. It will be their first meeting since 2015, and each time they met, either of them tasted a straight sets victory. The two victories to Danka, are both from clay, including one from Roland Garros 2014, where she defeated Ana in the R64, 6-2, 6-3.

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