Hello once again fellow tennis fans, Roland Garros is now firmly in full swing; it’s crazy how we’re almost through the first week! We have to start with the top seed, Andy Murray, who has negotiated a stern test from the talented Slovak Martin Klizan to reach the last-32. Murray could have easily won the match in straight sets, and didn’t panic in set 4 where it was so easy to do so, considering how he isn’t exactly in top form right now, so this is an excellent win for the Scot. He’s set up a mouthwatering clash with (many fan’s at least second favourite player) Juan Martin Del Potro, who looked decent against a clay court veteran in Nico Almagro. That one will surely be the match of the tournament so far for sure!
The second quarter looks interesting as Kei Nishikori swept aside a potential test in Jeremy Chardy convincingly, he’ll face the wily Hyeon Chung in round 3, whereas Pablo Cuevas continues to look impressive and I’m backing him to make the quarters. Fernando Verdasco is battling on against crowd favourite Pierre-Hugues Herbert, which could go to five sets for the right to face Cuevas.
Stan Wawrinka is also showing his mettle so far, with no signs of trouble against Dolgopolov, whereas Fabio Fognini has delighted me by putting in a great performance against his countryman Andreas Seppi. Gael Monfils too has produced decent tennis out of absolutely nowhere to make the third round! He’ll undoubtedly be the main French hope, although Richard Gasquet is also doing himself proud against Estrella-Burgos currently. Section 4 is surely Marin Cilic’s for the taking, as Nick Kyrgios disappointed against Kevin Anderson and Feli Lopez ended David Ferrer’s valiant tournament in a fifth set.
Moving into the bottom half, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Carreno-Busta all impressed in their second round matches leaving that quarter final spot wide open, and Rafael Nadal will surely face zero competition to book his place in the last-8, with only Bautista-Agut realistically posing any test.
John Isner looked good in dismantling Paolo Lorenzi and he won’t face Tomas Berdych, who was one of the few casualties seed-wise, bowing out to Khachanov in straight sets. Also Dominic Thiem and David Goffin both continued their fine run of form, marching into the third round, and Novak Djokovic swept aside Joao Sousa with ease. With almost all of the top seeds advancing, the second week looks set to be seriously entertaining. I still maintain that this tournament is more open than many choose to believe, although yes Rafa looks damn good.
Here’s the third round draw:
- Andy Murray vs Juan Martin Del Potro
- John Isner vs Karen Khachanov
- Verdasco/Herbert vs Pablo Cuevas
- Hyeon Chung vs Kei Nishikori
- Stan Wawrinka vs Fabio Fognini
- Gasquet/Estrella-Burgos vs Gael Monfils
- Kyle Edmund vs Kevin Anderson
- Feli Lopez vs Marin Cilic
- Milos Raonic vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
- Pablo Carreno-Busta vs Grigor Dimitrov
- Jiri Vesely vs Roberto Bautista-Agut
- Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Rafael Nadal
- Dominic Thiem vs Steve Johnson
- Horacio Zeballos vs David Goffin
- Lucas Pouille vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
- Diego Schwartzman vs Novak Djokovic
This third round draw looks very exciting! So many players are pretty high ranked, have had some good results during the clay season so will be full of confidence, or both! This is definitely where the tournament will burst into life. So, my predictions…
Andy Murray I can see prevailing in four tough sets, exposing DelPo’s lack of match-play on clay to face John Isner, who will be full of confidence and excited to reach the last-16 in Paris.
Pablo Cuevas has played brilliant tennis and I can only see him prevailing, he’ll face Kei Nishikori, who has looked too good for Chung in my opinion.
Stan Wawrinka has looked excellent so far so I’m backing him to reach Gael Monfils, who is always inspired by the magic of Roland Garros.
Kyle Edmund has a real chance to make the last-16 although Marin Cilic will prove an even sterner test should it happen.
Milos Raonic has too many weapons to take to the court against Garcia-Lopez, and I’ll tentatively back Grigor Dimitrov’s sheer talent over the relentless Carreno-Busta.
Roberto Bautista-Agut is perhaps saving his best tennis for Roland Garros, but Rafael Nadal looks imperious in his quest for La Decima.
Dominic Thiem needs to be on his game against Steve Johnson, but I’ll back him as he is currently playing better tennis with every clay event so far, and David Goffin will surely continue his very fine season so far.
Lucas Pouille will be pumped for a rematch from Monte Carlo with Ramos-Vinolas in front of his home crowd, and Novak Djokovic surely won’t be tested either.
Phew, I’ll check in again when the last-16 has been set! 🙂