By Niall Clarke
- Three matches to look out for on Day four of the French Open
- Garcia vs Radwanska, Nishikori vs Kuznetsov, Gabashvili vs Paire
PARIS, FRANCE- Home crowd favourite, Caroline Garcia, will face second seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, in the pick of the matches on day four of the French Open.
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Caroline Garcia
Scheduled: Last on Suzanne Lenglen
Head to head: 2-1 Radwanska
Looking at the draw after it was made, this potential round two meeting stood out as one of the matches to watch out for. Radwanska will face France’s Garcia on Suzanne Lenglen court in the stand out match on day four, who will come out on top?
Radwanska has never been at her best on clay, but she eased through her opening round match against Bojana Jovanovski so has shown a capable level. As for Garcia, well she got over her nerves to defeat Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 7-5. The Frenchwoman has great talent, but she has struggled with dealing with the home crowd here in the past, will that be a factor again?
Radwanska leads their head to head 2-1 with all three matches going to three sets. This one is finely poised and looks likely to be like their previous meetings. If Garcia can channel her nerves and use the crowd to her advantage, she can cause the upset. However with her past tendency to play within herself here it will likely be Radwanska who advances in a come from behind victory.
Prediction: Radwanska in 3
(5) Kei Nishikori vs Andrey Kuznetsov
Scheduled: First on court 1
Head to head: 1-0 Kuznetsov
Nishikori features for the second time in our three to see, so there must be something about the Japanese that is worth watching. Whether it is his fluid ground strokes or quickness across the court, the fifth seed is always worth the admission price.
In the second round he faces a tough opponent in Kuznetsov who has gotten the better of Nishikori in the past. In their only previous meeting in Eastbourne six years a go, the Japanese star retired 6-3, 3-1 down.
The Russian has had a solid year and has seen his ranking rise into the top 40. Kuznetsov is solid in all areas and will give Nishikori a tough match and might take it to four or five sets. That said, Nishikori should prevail.
Prediction: Nishikori in 4
(19) Benoit Paire vs Teymuraz Gabashvili
Scheduled: Second on court 2
Head to head: 1-0 Paire
Another French player makes our three to see, this time in the form of a six-foot-five man with one of the most recognisable beards on tour. Every Paire match is worth a watch because they are never short of entertainment. At his best the Frenchman is a genius, at his worst his antics still make his matches worth a watch.
Gabashvili is capable of playing good tennis and has a victory over Andy Murray under his belt. The Georgian can certainly cause the upset here, especially given the way Paire can sometimes make a mess of things.
The 19th seed has won their only previous meeting in Barcelona earlier this year which was also on clay. If he can find his best tennis then Paire should win, but as is so often the case you never know.
Prediction: Paire in 5
The French Open continues on Wednesday May 25th.
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