By Britwatch Team
- Previews and predictions from the best three matches of the day
- Nishikori vs Bolelli, Kvitova vs Kovinic, Stephens vs Gasparyan.
PARIS, FRANCE- The opening day of the French Open is action packed, and here is three matches to look out for in the opening day of the tournament.
(5) Kei Nishikori vs Simone Bolelli
Scheduled: Second on Philippe Chatrier
Head to head: 2-0 Nishikori
Many will be expecting an easy straight sets win for the Japanese, but if their previous meeting are anything to go by, this could be an epic encounter. Granted, them two five set thrillers came at Wimbledon in conditions that suit the Italian’s came more, but the occasion may inspire the world number 111 to play beyond his usual level again.
Nishikori heads into the French Open as one of the dark horse contenders for the title. The world number six has proven his worth on clay, and he has also shown that he can trouble the top players. So even if it does end up being a three set blowout, it will be interesting to see how Nishikori looks at the start of the tournament.
Expect some great shot-making from both sides of the net, but Nishikori should see this match through more comfortably this time.
Prediction: Nishikori in 3
(10) Petra Kvitova vs Danka Kovinic
Scheduled: First on Philippe Chatrier
Head to head: 1-0 Kvitova
When is a Kvitova match not one to see? When the Czech is firing it is s sight to behold, when she is not…. well it is also a sight to behold for different reasons. Kovinic came within two points of beating Kvitova at Indian Wells in their only previous meeting, so the 21 year old knows what she has to do, the question is can she do it?
Kovinic could rise to the occasion of playing on a big court, but it could also consume her and make the world number 57 play within herself. This is one of those matches where there is a potential upset, but it also could be a stunning Kvitova performance that leaves the viewers in awe.
It may go three sets because that is what Kvitova matches tend to do. The Czech however will find a way to pull through a tough match and secure a second round place at Roland Garros.
Prediction: Kvitova in 3
(19) Sloane Stephens vs Margarita Gasparyan
Scheduled: Last on Court 3
Head to head: First meeting
Two young and talented players will meet last on court six in a match that could really go either way. Gasparyan is in terrible form, but it can sometimes matter little in the WTA. The Russian has plenty of power and possesses a rare one handed backhand.
Stephens could be a dark-horse in the draw but she could also have a shocker. The talented American has the ability but can sometimes not put it together, can Gasparyan take advantage?
This could be a close three set match or a straight set blowout depending on the form of either player. Let’s be optimistic though and say it will be a close three set battle which Stephens will likely pull through
Prediction: Stephens in 3
The French Open opening day begins at 11AM local (10AM BST) on Sunday May 22nd.
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