The opening round of a Grand Slam always throws up a few exciting round one battles but Roland Garros has heavily delivered on the mens draw.
Jannik Sinner vs David Goffin
Earlier on this year which seems like a lifetime ago now Jannik Sinner won his first match against a top ten player in Rotterdam against David Goffin. The Italian who won the NextGen Finals a few months before was soo good in Rotterdam and punishing behind his groundstrokes.
This is one of those matches where for Sinner it is a learning curve but he won’t be ruled out. He hasn’t had that much exposure on the clay on tour level and is debuting in Paris. David Goffin is a smart clay court player, on his day watching him is like poetry on the dirt. Goffin showed good form in Paris a few years ago and was a menace behind his backhand but a fall into the court cover ended his tournament.
Andy Murray vs Stan Wawrinka
I don’t think this one needs too much introduction, two former major winners battling it out in round one. You can read more on their meeting below:
Dan Evans vs Kei Nishikori
Dan Evans must be thinking, what luck I must have with these draws? He had Tsitsipas in round one of Hamburg and now in Paris has Kei Nishikori.
I think this is a fantastic opportunity for Dan to pick out another big win, he did defeat Kei in New York many years ago and I haven’t been totally convinced by the former US Open finalist on his return to tennis. In Rome we saw glimpses of brilliance but I thought his body language was poor and was going around with a defeated attitude and fitness didn’t seem to stand up.
Dan’s backhand into the forehand of Kei will be interesting. I expect Dan to win this match and I would be surprised if over five sets he didn’t get it done.
Alexander Zverev vs Dennis Novak
One person who will be watching on with interest will be Dominic Thiem.
His good friend Sascha Zverev will be up against his best friend Dennis Novak. Dominic Thiem in an interview said that he hopes for Dennis to win and has given him some tips which will be interesting to watch.
Sascha Zverev has made back to back semi-finals at a major and played his first major final in New York a few weeks back. He does however have a new voice in his corner in David Ferrer and it will be interesting to see what the Spaniard will bring to his camp.
Marin Cilic vs Dominic Thiem
What a tough beginning for Dominic Thiem who has a tough draw. The opening few rounds for the top seeds is usually a time to find your feet but he can’t afford to be wasteful against Marin.
Despite beating Marin in four sets at the US Open a few weeks back you cannot take anything for granted and Dominic Thiem who will be a little undercooked on the clay.
Marin Cilic will know who is the favourite and you would expect him to go full out for it so is an upset on the cards?
Gael Monfils v Alexander Bublik
It is going to be a fun match! Gael Monfils however has not won since the 27th of February when he defeated Gasquet in Dubai.
Gael of course did have match points against Djokovic in Dubai and lost and is now on a three match losing streak. He lost to Koepfer in Rome and Hanfmann in Hamburg and is badly out of form.
Bublik like Gael brings excitement, even with Gael winless in three matches you would never rule out a great performance in Paris where he usually entertains the full crowds but won’t be able to do that this year.
Roberto Bautista Agut v Richard Gasquet
Agut is one of the most solid performers on the ATP tour, he is a big game player and I would expect a good run from him.
Agut is consistent in Paris making at least the third round in the last four years but hasn’t found that bite to go through to the next step on the clay with his best clay result being a semi-final sport on his Madrid main draw debut in 2014.
Gasquet is another Frenchman who performs with the crowd behind him but how will he get on without the crowd there? Will it be tougher for these French players?
Agut beat Gasquet 7-5 6-1 in Cincinnati a month ago…