By Niall Clarke
- Three matches to look out for on Day Seven of the French Open
- Mladenovic vs Serena, Gulbis vs Tsonga, Ivanovic vs Svitolina
PARIS, FRANCE- Kristina Mladenovic and Jo Wilfried Tsonga will fly the French flag in our three to see for Day Seven of the French Open.
(1) Serena Williams vs (26) Kristina Mladenovic
Scheduled: Second on Philippe Chatrier
Head to head: First meeting
It is certainly one of the bigger, if not the biggest match of the day, especially from a home crowd perspective. It is not every day that a French player meets the world number one in France, but that is precisely what we have here as Mladenovic looks to upset Serena on Philippe Chatrier.
The two players have never faced each other before so Mladenovic will bring something new for Serena to think about. The 23 year old is another talented player from the 93 generation who has yet to reach her full potential. Mladenovic has nice variety and is good in all areas, but will she have the firepower to beat Serena?
The world number one has been in good form this tournament and has been in these sort of situations before where she will have the crowd in favour of her opponent. Mladenovic might make it close and may even take a set, but the chances are Serena advances.
Prediction: Serena in 2
(6) Jo Wilfried Tsonga vs Ernests Gulbis
Scheduled: Third on Philippe Chatrier
Head to head: 3-2 Tsonga
Another French hopeful will follow Serena vs Mladenovic on Philippe Chatrier as Tsonga faces dangerous unseeded player Gulbis.
The Latvian seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth after 2014, but he has found some good form here and defeated Joao Sousa in straight sets in his previous match. Tsonga has laboured through his opening two matches and had to come from two sets down to beat Marcos Baghdatis. The Frenchman has struggled to really channel the crowd and as a result his matches have had a strange atmosphere. Will that change in this match?
Tsonga leads the head to head 3-2, though Gulbis has won their last two meetings. This will be their first match on clay, which is a different proposition to hard or grass. Gulbis is an extremely dangerous opponent for Tsonga, but the sixth seed will likely pull through
Prediction: Tsonga in 5
(18) Elina Svitolina vs (14) Ana Ivanovic
Scheduled: First on Court One
Head to head: 7-0 Ivanovic
The head to head looks really lopsided, but this match could be a close three setter and that is why it is one of the three to see.
Both players know their way around a clay court with Ivanovic being a former champion here. The Serbian is not the player she was when she lifted the trophy but she is still amongst the upper echelons of the game when firing. The Ukrainian has not had the best year so far but she has hit form in time for the French Open.
Ivanovic’s strongest side is her forehand whilst Svitolina’s is her backhand so it will likely come down to who can impose their main weapon. The Serb has more firepower and has the higher ‘peak’ level. If Ivanovic can find that level then she will likely come out on top.
Prediction: Ivanovic in 3
The French Open continues on Saturday May 28th
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