By Niall Clarke
- Three matches to look out for on Day Three of the French Open
- Pospisil vs Berdych, Kerber vs Bertens, Mladenovic vs Schiavone
PARIS, FRANCE- Australian Open Champion Angelique Kerber’s opener against Nurnberg champion Kiki Bertens headlines our three to see for the third day of the French Open.
(3) Angelique Kerber vs Kiki Bertens
Scheduled: First on Philippe Chatrier
Head to head: 1-0 Kerber
Kerber has been handed a tough opening round draw against the in-form Bertens who had success in Nurnberg last week
Although she has had success on the dirt, including winning the Stuttgart open this year, clay has never been considered Kerber’s best surface. The German has reached the last four of every slam except this one.
Bertens has form on her side and she gave Kerber a lot of problems in Miami earlier this year before retiring due to injury in their only previous meeting.
With the Dutch riding a wave of confidence, this should be a fascinating contest with a potential upset on the cards. Kerber managed to squeeze through in Miami and the chances are she does the same here, but it will likely be a close one.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
(29) Kristina Mladenovic vs Francesca Schiavone
Scheduled: First on Suzanne Lenglen
Head to head: 2-1 Schiavone
How far the French can go is always one of the stories of the French Open. Without a champion since Mary Pierce in 2000, the home crowd wait for their next champion. On the women’s side, Mladenovic is the highest ranked of the group, so maybe there’s some extra pressure on her shoulders.
The Frenchwoman is talented but has struggled for form this year, only claiming back to back victories in Strasbourg. Her crushing defeat to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni could knock her confidence down further.
Schiavone won the French Open in 2010, she is not a player you want to be drawing early. Her experience and clay court prowess will cause problems if playing well, and factor in the home crowd pressure, it could be an early exit for Mladenovic.
Can the young Frenchwoman rise to the occasion, or will the home grand slam consume her like it has to many before her? This match could go three sets, but Schiavone is past her best and may not have enough to overcome her younger opponent.
Prediction: Mladenovic in 3
(8) Tomas Berdych vs Vasek Pospisil
Scheduled: First on Court 1
Head to head: 2-0 Pospisil
Two out of form players will contest arguably the most enticing of the men’s matches on day three of the French Open.
Berdych comes into Roland Garros off the back of a double bagel loss to David Goffin and short on confidence. The Czech however has recently split with his coach and could revert back to the instinctive tennis that originally made him successful.
Pospisil has lost four matches on the bounce and has yet to register a win during the clay season. The Canadian has one thing on his side, and that is the head to head. Pospisil has won their only two meetings albeit on hard courts.
This one could go four or five sets either way. Berdych will be favourite on the clay, but the head to head suggests that he does give the Czech problems. An upset is possible but the odds are Berdych finds a way.
Prediction: Berdych in 4
The French Open continues on Tuesday May 24th
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