By Ros Satar, at Roland Garros
- Garbiñe Muguruza  v Elina Svitolina  | Svitolina leads H2H 5-1 (tour level)
- Stan Wawrinka  v Grigor Dimitrov | H2H Tied at 4-4
- Sloane Stephens  v Polona Hercog | Stephens leads H2H 3-0
PARIS, FRANCE – The third round gets underway on Friday and some of these match-ups deserve to be in the second week, as we pick our three of the best for Day Six.
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Garbiñe Muguruza  v Elina Svitolina  | Svitolina leads H2H 5-1 (tour level)
We could not ask for a better third round match to start off today’s Three to See. In other times this could have well featured in the second week of any Slam, but instead we see former champion Garbiñe Muguruza take on a player who has long been mentioned in context of winning Roland Garros as her first Slam, Elina Svitolina.
The Ukrainian’s lead-up has not been ideal – the entire month of April was wiped out as she struggled with a knee injury and her comeback in Madrid and Rome, where she was a two-time defending champion, came to a sticky opening round exit end.
However, her progress here could not have been easier – she blitzed through her first round, and had a walkover in the second round, while Muguruza had to scrap from a set down in her first set before flying through her second round, after a pretty grim lead up with just two match wins in Rome.
That being said, Muguruza looked as though she was going places. This will be a tough test for the Spaniard. Her weapons of choice – pounding groundstrokes and solid off both wings, an effective and beefy serve, and a relentless attacking game when she is on form is no easy task.
Svitolina is ever-consistent, and maybe not quite as powerful as Mugurua, but her movement and accuracy have kept her at the top of the game. This is indeed a tight one to call.
Prediction: Muguruza in three sets
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Stan Wawrinka  v Grigor Dimitrov | H2H Tied at 4-4
Generation Lost Boys pin-up boy Grigor Dimitrov has already had two five-set matches this week, and we are not even at the end of it! Quite aside from the strange windmill-deal celebration that he has, could we be seeing a resurgence of Dimitrov?
Possibly not as Stan Wawrinka has looked in pretty impressive form. He might have been taken to four sets in his opener, but he put that well behind him with a straightforward three-setter for the loss of just five games.
Moreover, we are going to witness a battle of the single-handed backhands, and here we would have to give Wawrinka the edge. It is fair to stay that Wawrinka has conquered his mental strength demons, where Dimitrov can still have moments of a complete walkabout. Wawrinka’s offensive baseline game just comes with a little more oomph!
Prediction: Wawrinka in four sets.
Sloane Stephens  v Polona Hercog | Stephens leads H2H 3-0
It is worth checking in on last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens. While defending champion Simona Halep has had to fight through two three-setters, Stephens has looked in impressive form and has yet to drop a set here, and has the measure of Polona Hercog’s game, despite the fact that she has been a solid clay-courter in the past. However the Slovenian is facing a Top 10 player for the 25th time (and the ninth time in Paris), and is 1-23 against them.
Stephens supreme movement, accuracy and effortless power have been a joy to watch thus far, and she is looking very much like a contender to be in play next Saturday.
Prediction: Stephens in straight sets.
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