By Jake Davies

  • Fernando Verdasco [30] vs Grigor Dimitrov [4]
  • Madison Keys [13] vs Naomi Osaka [21]
  • Camila Giorgi vs Sloane Stephens [10]
PARIS, FRANCE – On Day 6 of Roland-Garros we have three matches to take a look at, with Grigor Dimitrov, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens all set to play their respective third round matches.

 

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Fernando Verdasco [30] vs Grigor Dimitrov [4] H2H: Level at 2-2

Grigor Dimitrov has had some very near misses when it comes to trying to get that first Grand Slam title under his belt. A semi-finalist of Wimbledon in 2014 and at the Australian Open last year, the Bulgarian is still searching for that winning mentality and formula to achieve one of his career dreams, but will be up against it if he wants to go all the way during the French fortnight. The 27-year-old has never made it past the third round of the French Open and faces a very dangerous and unpredictable opponent in Fernando Verdasco in his third round match-up.

This has a potential to be an upset if you break this match-up down. Dimitrov had two first round losses in Madrid and Rome and barely made it past Jared Donaldson in his previous round here, where his opponent served for the match.

The question in this particular battle is how the Bulgarian’s second serve holds up. Verdasco likes to take huge cuts with his flat double-handed backhand on the return and also steps back and unleashes on the forehand. If Dimitrov gives him too many looks on his second serve, then he is going to be doing a lot of defending and the Bulgarian needs to cut out those double faults on big points or that could decide this match.

Prediction: Verdasco in five sets.

 

POLL: Who will win the Men’s Singles Title?

 

Madison Keys [13] vs Naomi Osaka [21] H2H: Keys leads 2-0

Madison Keys in the second round of Roland Garros, 2018

Madison Keys in the second round of Roland Garros, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

The second of the matches to keep a beady eye on is the match featuring 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys and Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in a match that should have heavy ball-striking from the back of the court. This match is really evenly-poised as both players do not naturally play their best tennis on the red clay. Osaka has actually spoken quite negatively about her game on the slower clay, but it represents a huge opportunity for either player to get a big win on a surface they are still learning the ropes on.

The winner will be the one that makes the first step in the rally and the one that imposes their game on the match as quickly as possible.

Prediction: Keys in two sets

 

READ MORE | Roland Garros 2018 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

Roland Garros 2018 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

 

Camila Giorgi vs Sloane Stephens [10] H2H: Giorgi leads 2-1

Sloane Stephens in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018

Sloane Stephens in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Sloane Stephens has effectively been going under the radar at this year’s French Open. Winning her matches easily, displaying the power she can create off both wings, serving well and playing with the confidence that was missing in her slump following the US Open title win. She is one of the Americans who adapts well to the switch of surface on the red clay and could be one to look out for over the fortnight.

Her third round opponent is perhaps the biggest hitter on the WTA Tour in Italy’s Camila Giorgi. Giorgi poses one of the harder challenges on tour because she takes unbelievable risks, perhaps the biggest risks groundstroke for groundstroke and it is tough to ever really get a serious rhythm when playing against her.

As dangerous as Giorgi is on the offence, she does give plenty of cheap points away because of the recklessness of her game and I just do not think that she will keep a decent balance of winners with the unforced error count.

Prediction: Stephens in two sets

 

POLL: Who will win the Women’s Singles Title

Main Image: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Play continues at Roland Garros at 11am (10am BST).

 

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