• The No.3 seed Dominic Thiem will meet Casper Ruud, aiming to equal his father and reach a Grand Slam fourth round
  • Simona Halep bids to avenge the defeat against Amanda Anisimova here last year
  • Caroline Garcia will face Elise Mertens for the first time on clay
PARIS, FRANCE – The third round starts today at Roland Garros and we pick three matches that caught our eye on Day Six.

 

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Dominic Thiem [3] v Casper Ruud [28] | No H2H

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In the first match between two seeded players in the men’s singles here this year, No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem will face No. 28 seed Casper Ruud.

The Norwegian has won more Tour-level clay court matches than anyone else this year. however in the second round marathon win over Tommy Paul he struggled with his backhand return to counter his opponent’s kick-serves. Should he defeat Thiem today, he would become just the second man from Norway to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam, after his father. But that would be a huge upset.

Prediction: Thiem in straight sets.

 

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Simona Halep [1] v Amanda Anisimova [25] | Anisimova leads 1-0

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Last year at Roland Garros, Amanda Anisimova dispatched the defending champion Simona Halep becoming the first player born in the 2000s to reach the last four at a major. Her momentum was tragically halted a few months later as her father and coach died just before the US Open in 2019.

The resurgent American will face the Romanian again to clinch a berth in the fourth round. The top seed has been the player to beat this season. By contrast, after the lockdown Anisimova had lost two out of the three matches she played before entering Roland Garros.

The conditions in Paris favour the big hitters, and Anisimova can see her chances to go for a repeat increase. In 2019 she also used slices and drop shots, which could be even more effective this time. Halep will need to hit deeply from the baseline, using her down-the-line backhand to control the points and mixing it up frequently. It won’t be an easy match, but she has looked too solid recently not to avenge that defeat.

Prediction: Halep in three sets.

 

Caroline Garcia v Elise Mertens [16] | H2H: Garcia leads 2-0

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Caroline Garcia has beaten Elise Mertens in both their previous clashes, with the recent one coming in last year’s Fed Cup tie between France and Belgium. They will face for the first time on clay however. The Belgian has consistently reached the second week at Grand Slam level lately while the Frenchwoman has continuously struggled to produce her best tennis.

Mertens can generate sharp angles to nurture her offensive tennis from the back and has a more reliable backhand than Garcia who on the contrary has a more powerful forehand.

The match looks pretty evenly poised, but despite her determination to succeed in her home Slam, we don’t see Garcia being able to pull off an upset.

Prediction: Mertens to win in three sets.

 

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