• Karolina Pliskova [9] v Sloane Stephens
  • Rafael Nadal [3] v Richard Gasquet
  • Iga Swiatek [8] v Rebecca Peterson
PARIS, FRANCE – The second round continues in Paris, with a brace of champions and a finalist gracing our Three to See.

 

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Karolina Pliskova [9] v Sloane Stephens H2H & Match Fundamentals

Karolina Pliskova [9] v Sloane Stephens H2H: Stephens leads 3-1
Roland Garros Paris, France
Clay (O) Prize Money: €84,000
Second on Court Philippe-Chatrier, not before 1:30pm (12:30pm BST). Eurosport Player via Amazon Prime

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It has taken a while for Karolina Pliskova to get going this year, under the new coaching eye of Sascha Bajin, and while her best result this year was reaching the final in Rome, the resulting thumping at the hands of Iga Swiatek shows there is still a way to go before the Czech gets her hands on a maiden Slam.

It has been a worse start to the year for Sloane Stephens who had to wait until Miami for a first win in the season, and Charleston for the back to back wins to come. There were frustrations in her emotional match with Carla Suarez-Navarro, having to come from a set down to win.

The athleticism of the 2018 finalist is testament to her record over Pliskova but it worth noting that Pliskova’s only win is on clay. Stephens has arguably racked up a little more time on the clay this season, and it just feels as though something has yet to stick for Pliskova.

Prediction: Pliskova in three sets.

 

 

Rafael Nadal [3] v Richard Gasquet H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Rafael Nadal [3] v Richard Gasquet H2H: Nadal leads 16-1 (incl. Challenger)
Roland Garros Paris, France
Clay (O) Prize Money: €84,000
Fourth on Court Philippe-Chatrier, not before 9pm (8pm BST). Eurosport Player via Amazon Prime

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With a curfew still in place in Paris, Rafael Nadal will have his first turn under the lights, and more importantly French hardy perennial Richard Gasquet will have to face a nemesis with no home crowd. The French do not always actually respond well to the passionate exhortations of their countrymen and women and it wil be interesting to see how Gasquet, who picked up two quarter-final spots in the run up to Roland Garros, fares.

Nadal is not averse to a bit of a wobble. He was potentially looking at opening his campaign with a dropped set against Aussie Alexei Popyrin but managed to pull things back in the tie-break. In all honestly it should be a breeze, but having played with fans loving every minute of the play, it will be interesting to see how the anti-septic atmosphere of a night match goes.

Prediction: Nadal in straight sets.

 

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Iga Swiatek [8] v Rebecca Peterson H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Iga Swiatek [8] v Rebecca Peterson First Meeting
Roland Garros Paris, France
Clay (O) Prize Money: €84,000
Fourth on Court Simonne-Mathieu not before 4:30pm (3:30pm BST). Eurosport Player via Amazon Prime

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It is hard to know how any maiden Grand Slam winner will react to the pressures in particular of defending a Slam. If we thought we would see Iga Swiatek unravel, we were wrong as she demolished her good friend on the tour Kaja Juvan in the first set before having to work her way to a straight sets win.

Rebecca Peterson will be a bit of an unknown for her. She has had a few decent runs this year to quarter-finals including two on the clay. The Swede had a tough route into the second round scrapping her way through two tie-break sets before running away with things against Shelby Rogers in the decider.

She could throw up a little bit of a test for the defending champion.

Prediction: Swiatek in three sets.

 

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