By Niall Clarke
- Three matches to look out for on Day five of the French Open
- Tsonga vs Baghdatis, Venus vs Chirico, Garcia-Lopez vs Thiem
PARIS, FRANCE- Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Dominic Thiem and Venus Williams feature in our three to see for day five of the French Open.
(7) Jo Wilfried Tsonga vs Marcos Baghdatis
Scheduled: Third on Philippe Chatrier
Head to head: 6-1 Tsonga
Tsonga vs Baghdatis has fireworks written all over it, and with the French crowd also a factor it could have more than a new years party.
Both men are past their respective primes but they can still produce great tennis when required. Tsonga has climbed back into the top eight whilst Baghdatis is still hanging around inside the top 40. The Frenchman leads the head to head 6-1 but some of their previous meetings have been good contests, including their Australian Open meeting this year.
Tsonga looked a bit tense and nervous during his match with Struff. Maybe that is down to the pressure of being the highest ranked Frenchman in the draw, maybe it was something else but the 31 year old did not look his usual self. Baghdatis will no doubt be a bigger test than the German and could take advantage if the same Tsonga shows up again.
Prediction: Tsonga in 4
(9) Venus Williams vs Louisa Chirico
Scheduled: Last on Suzanne Lenglen
Head to head: First meeting
It’s the former American number one against perhaps the future American number one as 35 year old Venus faces 20 year old Chirico on Suzanne Lenglen.
Williams has never lifted the Roland Garros trophy with clay not being her preferred surface. That does not mean she is not dangerous though, as on her day Venus can match anyone. She might be in her twilight years but the world number 11 can still play great tennis and has tons of experience to back that up.
Chirico made her breakthrough in Madrid only a few weeks a go and has since been highly touted as a future star. The American is good off both wings and has a good serve, but she has been suspect mentally at times, something which will no doubt improve with experience.
For Chirico to be successful, she must not fear her opponent and try impose her will on Venus. The ninth seed isn’t the strongest mover and if Chirico can get her moving then she will have success. If Venus is allowed to dictate then it could be a short time on court for the 20 year old.
Prediction: Venus in 3
(13) Dominic Thiem vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
Scheduled: Second on court 2
Head to head: First meeting
Rising contender Thiem will meet clay court specialist Garcia-Lopez in what should be a great battle between two one handed backhands.
Thiem is still surging towards the top ten and it will not be surprising if he manages to finish there by the end of the season. The Austrian has a big hitting game that suits the clay and is considered a dark horse contender for the title.
Garcia-Lopez is a name even you non tennis-fanatics may recognise. The Spaniard dumped Stan Wawrinka out of the French Open two years a go and has since gone on to become a top 40 mainstay. Garcia-Lopez is a tough draw for anyone, especially on the clay and will look to cause another upset in Paris.
This is truly tough to call as both men have excellent clay court games and they have never played each other before. Thiem is the favourite, but Garcia-Lopez is a tough opponent for the second round- This one may go five sets.
Prediction: Thiem in 5
The French Open continues on Thursday May 26th
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