French Open 2017 – 82 / 124 (66%)
French Open Final Prediction for Saturday
Day 13 – 0/1
Thoughts about the final in Friday’s Set Points post
Halep d. Ostapenko in 3 sets
French Open SF Predictions for Thursday
Day 12 – 1/2
Thoughts about both matches in Wednesday’s Set Points recap post.
Bacsinszky d. Ostapenko in 2 sets
Halep d. Pliskova in 2 sets
French Open SF Polls for Thursday
French Open QF Predictions for Wednesday
Day 11 – 1/2
Halep d. Svitolina in 2 sets – Preview
Garcia d. Pliskova in 3 sets – Preview
French Open QF Polls for Wednesday
French Open QF Predictions for Wednesday
Day 10 – 1/2
Ostapenko d. Wozniacki in 3 sets – Preview
Mladenovic d. Bacsinszky in 3 sets – Preview
French Open QF Polls for Tuesday
French Open R4 Predictions for Monday
Day 9 – 4/4
Svitolina d. Martic in 3 sets – Amazing week for Martic and somewhat of an unknown quantity in this draw. She played a terrific match against Sevastova. I’ve been impressed with Svitolina and she seems to playing with a great deal of confidence. I’d fancy Svitolina to weather an early storm and reach the quarters.
Halep d. Suarez Navarro in 3 sets – Suarez Navarro has won all four of their previous encounters on clay. The ankle is still a bit of a concern for Halep but she’s steadily making her way through the rounds and has been very resilient and mentally tough in the key moments of matches.
Garcia d. Cornet in 3 sets – Preview
Pliskova d. Cepede Royg in 2 sets – At least one tight set, Cepede Royg has reached this far for a reason and she’s a good clay courter. Pliskova hasn’t played her best but much like the entire 2017 season, she’s often found a way to win.
French Open R4 Polls for Monday
French Open R4 Predictions for Sunday
Day 8 – 1/4
Stosur d. Ostapenko in 3 sets – This will be a first R4 at a Slam for Ostapenko who has a lethal game – with increasing focus, her lethal game is becoming more and more dangerous. Stosur is once again rounding into form at Roland Garros. I could fight a case for either but in the end, I favour Stosur’s experience and her adaptability to the surface and conditions.
Muguruza d. Mladenovic in 3 sets – Mladenovic just keeps on finding a way to stay in this tournament and credit to her for that. Muguruza will be her toughest challenge and the Spaniard has come through a very tricky draw with flying colours. I’d give the edge to Muguruza based on her level so far this tournament but the home crowd and Mladenovic’s fighting spirit could make this a very interesting clash. Excited for this match!
Bacsinszky d. V.Williams in 3 sets – Preview
Kuznetsova d. Wozniacki in 3 sets – Preview
French Open R4 Polls for Sunday
French Open R3 Predictions for Saturday
Day 7 – 7/9
Svitolina d. Linette in 2 sets – A superb week for Linette who is into the third round of a Slam for the first time in her career. I’ve been impressed with the way that Svitolina has stayed firm and hit plenty of winners against two decent opponents. I think Svitolina’s confidence and experience will see her through this match in straight sets.
Sevastova d. Martic in 2 sets – Martic’s week is an underrated gem of a story and it’s so good to see her back. Sevastova has been great during the clay court season and playing with sound tactics.
Suarez Navarro d. Vesnina in 2 sets – CSN is staying under the radar and playing better and better – although Cirstea was nursing an injury in the previous round, it was a big win for CSN having lost four of their five previous encounters. Credit to Vesnina who has battled her way to two three set wins on her least favoured surface having arrived in Paris in dreadful form. CSN leads the H2H, 3-0 and has never dropped a set against Vesnina. On clay i’d expect that stat to stay the same.
Halep d. Kasatkina in 3 sets – My match of the day! A little surprised to see both make it this far because of their injuries heading into the tournament. Kasatkina seems to be thrilled just to be competing so i’m hoping that will help her to stay calm for this one. This should be Halep’s toughest match of the week so far but I like her focus at the moment. This should be a good test of both ankles!
Garcia d. Hsieh in 3 sets – This is one of those matches that concerns me for Garcia! I do like how the Frenchwoman has played so far and if she can get plenty of returns back in court, I think she takes this.
Radwanska d. Cornet in 3 sets – I was hoping this would be later in the day for more drama! Radwanska leads the H2H, 7-1 but Cornet has produced the rare flash of magic. Radwanska was sensational in their last match in Miami. Clay and home support should give Cornet more of a shot. Radwanska wasn’t flashy in beating AVU but kept everything solid. Another display like that will likely be too good. I’d guess that Cornet will have to play a blinder to win this.
Cepede Royg d. Duque-Marino in 3 sets – A toss-up, both players going for a first ever R4 showing at a Slam. Having watch VCR’s match against Lucie, i’d give her an edge but honestly not sure either way!
Pliskova d. Witthoeft in 2 sets – Witthoeft has now made R3 of all four Slams which is an impressive achievement. The German player, the last one standing, has a decent game. I think Pliskova has a few more strengths across the board. Pondered with three sets, went for the straight setter in the end.
Wozniacki d. Bellis in 3 sets – I wouldn’t read too much into Wozniacki’s double bagel win over Abanda. I do think she’ll be too solid for Bellis, as proved in Dubai earlier this year – the American was trying to back up a big win over Radwanska on that occasion but Woz was also not 100%. Clay may neutralise things as Bellis has looked quite comfortable on this surface.
French Open R3 Polls for Saturday
French Open R3 Predictions for Friday
Day 6 – 6/7
Ostapenko d. Tsurenko in 2 sets – Both players will be bidding to reach the second week of the French Open for the first time in their career – for Ostapenko it would be her first ever Slam R4. The pair are tied at 1-1 in their H2H with both clashes taking place this year. Ostapenko won most recently on clay in Prague. I’m siding with Ostapenko on this one…
Stosur d. Mattek-Sands in 3 sets – This could be a cracker, both played some great tennis in their second round wins. Their last previous match was almost seven years ago at Wimby. I really like Stosur and I think she could be a dark horse for the title. The Aussie has been clutch through her first two matches, saving a set point in both. Fancy this to go the distance but Stosur to have the focus to come through.
Kuznetsova d. Zhang Shuai in 2 sets – I was not impressed with Kuznetsova during her win over Dodin but as long as she gets through, she is always capable of turning it on. I think she’ll be calmer in this one and be able to have more control over the rallies. Zhang Shuai did win their most recent match on clay in Prague two years ago but Kuznetsova had won their four clashes prior to that.
Muguruza d. Putintseva in 2 sets – Interested to see how Muguruza reacts to her gruelling win over Kontaveit and against a very awkward opponent. I was impressed with the way that Muguruza was playing and if she can stay aggressive behind the serve and coming forward, I think she will be too good for Putintseva. Poots can certainly cause some damage here but whether she can maintain the focus is still a question mark for me.
Rogers d. Mladenovic in 3 sets – Mladenovic has done well to reach the third round but this will be a tough one for the Frenchwoman if the back’s still not feeling good. Rogers beat Mladenovic last year in New Haven although i’m not sure how much i’d read into that with Mlads a different player in 2017. Still, Rogers has enjoyed a decent year and has clay court history having reached the quarter-finals of Roland Garros last year.
V.Williams d. Mertens in 3 sets – This is actually my match of the day – i’ve been super impressed with Mertens this year and she was great against Gavrilova. Venus will face a stern test but I do think the American will prevail.
Bacsinszky d. Jabeur in 3 sets – Another good match, should be lots of variety in this one! Jabeur’s got the game to win but Bacsinszky does seem to be rounding into form at the right time and has much more experience at this stage of a Slam.
French Open R3 Polls for Friday
French Open R2 Predictions for Thursday
Day 5 – 8 / 16
Svitolina d. Pironkova in 2 sets – Pironkova’s first round win over Barthel came out of blue after a dreadful year up till now. It did remind me though that she reached the QFs of Roland Garros in 2016. A dangerous player on her day but i’d have to give the edge to Svitolina’s superior consistency. This will be a first career match-up.
Konjuh d. Linette in 2 sets – Linette has had a decent year but I think Konjuh at a Slam will get the job done.
Sevastova d. Bouchard in 2 sets – Credit to Bouchard for her battling first round win. If Sevastova doesn’t overthink this, I think her quality on clay will shine through. The Latvian player has had a superb clay court season.
Keys d. Martic in 3 sets – Fun match-up! Love, love, love Martic’s game and i’m thrilled to see her back. Keys was impressive in the first round and moved especially well.
Lepchenko d. Vesnina in 3 sets – A toss-up, gone for Lepchenko as I think she’s a tad more comfortable on the clay but won’t be surprised either way.
Suárez Navarro d. Cirstea in 3 sets – This should be a good one, both are great on the clay and had convincing first round wins against tricky opponents. Cirstea has won four of their five meetings and is playing with confidence right now. CSN has looked better week-by-week. I feel like which ever way I go with this one, i’ll get it wrong 😂.
Vondrousova d. Kasatkina in 3 sets – Preview
Halep d. Maria in 2 sets – Maria could be tricky with a different kind of game but Halep’s quality should see her through.
Townsend d. Hsieh in 3 sets – This could be a ball! Both play with variety. I fancy Townsend, who has had her best Slam results on clay, to have too much power. She has shown signs in 2017 of managing to harness the power a bit more effectively.
Garcia d. Pacquet in 2 sets – A huge win for Pacquet in the first round. I wonder if the draw may be breaking the way of CarGar?
Strycova d. Cornet in 2 sets – Could be the match of the decade in drama stakes! I’m tending towards a damp squib and a Strycova straight sets win. I really hope i’m wrong!
Radwanska d. Van Uytvanck in 3 sets – Preview
Pavlyuchenkova d. Cepede Royg in 2 sets – Cepede Royg was superb against Safarova but did get very nervous when trying to close out the match. On paper, Pavs has a big opening in her draw. Let’s see if she can take advantage of it…
Rybarikova d. Duque-Marino in 3 sets – I don’t know! MDM is more suited to clay but it’s a huge opportunity for both. A fully fit Rybarikova is always dangerous.
Witthoeft d. Parmentier in 3 sets – A toss-up, the pair have split their two previous matches.
Pliskova d. Alexandrova in 2 sets – Not anticipating too many issues for Pliskova but it’s clay so anything is possible!
French Open R2 Polls for Thursday
French Open R2 Predictions for Wednesday
Day 4 – 10 / 15
Makarova d. Tsurenko in 3 sets – Makarova backed up her two top ten wins on clay this year with losses in the next round. While Kerber was obviously vulnerable in the first round, I thought Makarova played a quality match for the most part. Tsurenko had a solid first round win over Kozlova – her year has been like a rollercoaster. Makarova leads the H2H, 2-0 and while consistency has been her issue this year, my instinct is that she will grind the win out.
Ostapenko d. Puig in 3 sets – Puig was very emotional after her first round win. Ostapenko looked to be on the ropes against Chirico but she came from a set down, which was very encouraging as she does career off into the abyss at times. Ostapenko won their only previous match in Rome, 6-1 6-1! A bit of a coin toss but going with Ostapenko’s superior match play on clay and signs that she is becoming a bit more mentally grounded on court.
Stosur d. Flipkens in 2 sets – Stosur leads the H2H, 2-1 but they have never played before on clay. Stosur was mostly clutch to get out of her first rounder in straights and I think she will do the same here as the more effective player on clay.
Wozniacki d. Abanda in 2 sets – Wozniacki was given a work-out against the talented, Fourlis and this could be a similar type of match against a young player she has never played before who seems to like the big stage. Pondered three sets but going with Woz.
Bertens d. Bellis in 3 sets – A rematch from Rome two weeks ago where Bertens won in straights, 6-4 6-0. Bertens dropped the first set of her first round match against Tomljanovic but came back in style. The three setter was probably good mentally to focus her for RG after winning Nurnberg. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another set go here as Bellis is talented and decent on clay, but I think Bertens comes through. A dark horse for the the title for sure.
Sasnovich d. Zhang Shuai in 3 sets – A toss-up for me, Zhang won easy at the AO but Sasnovich is a quality player and has had some good results this year. Neither are at their best on the clay.
Kuznetsova d. Dodin in 3 sets – Preview
Kontaveit d. Muguruza in 3 sets – Ooo this is a tough one. I was quite confidently going for Kontaveit in this potential match-up but Muguruza looked pretty good in her first rounder against Schiavone and she just seems to thrive on these courts. It wasn’t just last year where Muguruza excelled at RG as she reached QFs the two years before that. Kontaveit arrives with a healthy amount of confidence and a come-from-behind win over Muguruza in Stuttgart. TORN but tentatively sticking with the upset.
Putintseva d. Larsson in 2 sets – Both like the clay, really impressed with what I saw of Poots from her first round win over Georges. Never can be too sure with Poots.
Rogers d. Buyukakcay in 2 sets – Props to Buyukakcay for her first round upset of MLB. I think Rogers, last year’s quarter-finalist, will make less errors and be tougher for Buyukakcay to break down.
Mladenovic d. Errani in 3 sets – Changed my mind on this one numerous times. Injury aside, Mladenovic has always handled this match-up well and leads the H2H, 3-1. Note that in all four of those matches, Errani was the higher ranked player and Mlads has improved so much since then. No idea whether Mladenovic can come back from that crazy first rounder and with the blocked back. One thing for sure, Mladenovic is likely to battle on even if the result looks inevitable. Based on the H2H and with her ability to generate pace, i’ll stick with Mlads for now.
V.Williams d. Nara in 2 sets – Nara did well to turn her match around against Anisimova in the first round and actually won her last match against Venus at Indian Wells in 2016. Still, I think Venus takes this. I thought the American looked really dynamic against Wang Qiang in the first round.
Mertens d. Hogenkamp in 3 sets – Tricky one, both playing well. Hogenkamp has won her last 14 matches, while Mertens played a superb match to knock out Gavrilova.
Bacsinszky d. Brengle in 2 sets – Going for Bacsinszky on clay. I thought she was good against Sorribes Tormo and I think she has the variety and tactics to deal with Brengle’s quality defence and lack of pace.
Cibulkova d. Jabeur in 3 sets – Surprised how comfortably Cibulkova came through her first round match against Arruabarrena. Expecting a bit of a battle against an in-form, Jabeur but I think Cibulkova gets through.
French Open R2 Polls for Wednesday
French Open R1 Predictions for Tuesday
Day 3 – 14 / 20
Konta d. Hsieh in 2 sets – The pair have amassed just one main draw win at RG between them! I think Konta should come through this match relatively comfortably. Her best form has not come on clay but I think she can still score some wins with the right draw and this is a fair opener on paper.
Halep d. Cepelova in 3 sets – Who knows with this match! I could see a similar kind of outcome to Mladenovic’s match with Brady. Will be very interesting to see how Halep’s ankle holds up. Fingers crossed it’s all OK.
Svitolina d. Shvedova in 2 sets – Shvedova won their only previous match at Wimbledon but wins have been hard to come by for her in 2017. A big tournament for Svitolina and to be honest, i’m not feeling her going all the way. First match though and I think Svits will get through this one in straights.
Garcia d. Hibino in 2 sets – Garcia and a home crowd scares me but I think she showed some encouraging form in Strasbourg and that she will be able to overpower Hibino who has won just one of six matches on clay this year.
Cornet d. Babos in 3 sets – I think this could be a fun match, I thought it would have been a classic one with the light fading but it’s first up on the schedule! Both are in pretty poor form and have managed just one win each during the clay court season. More faith in Cornet getting the crowd behind her and digging in for the win.
Radwanska d. Ferro in 2 sets – Radwanska’s first match for a while, intrigued to see where her level is at, don’t see an upset at all.
Keys d. Barty in 3 sets – My match of the day, Keys has lost her last four, while Barty is having a breakout year and won four matches on the clay in Strasbourg. A definite upset alert but I think Keys might get the win. The American often raises her game at the Slams and she has Davenport in her corner who often has a positive influence on her game and mentality.
Ozaki d. Bouchard in 3 sets – Again no idea with the uncertainty of an injury for Bouchard. Ozaki hasn’t done much on clay but is having a good year overall and gets a lot of balls back.
Townsend d. Kato in 2 sets – Kato qualified with three quality wins, like Townsend for the win though who can play on clay.
Osaka d. Van Uytvanck in 3 sets – AVU has had all kinds of injuries so it’s nice to see her back to winning ways. She has history at RG on the clay having reached the quarter-finals back in 2015 and has now qualified. Osaka has lost three on the bounce on clay but for some reason, I think that despite being the weaker player on clay, she will raise her game for a Slam.
Barthel d. Pironkova in 2 sets – Barthel leads the H2H, 2-0 and has been in much the better form – Barthel has 13 wins on clay and Pironkova has 0. In fact, Pironkova has lost her last seven matches on tour.
Peng Shuai d. Cirstea in 3 sets – Tough that this pair have to play in the first round as both are dangerous floaters IMO. Cirstea is more comfortable on clay and reached the semi-finals in Nurnberg, yet Peng Shuai also had a good week and made the semi-finals in Strasbourg. A bit of a 50-50 match but I think Peng is very versatile and might be a tad more consistent.
Maria d. Duan in 2 sets – The pair played an epic at Wimbledon a few years ago where Maria won, 10-8 in the third set. Duan has never won a match on clay and won just one game against Stosur in Strasbourg last week.
Vondrousova d. Hesse in 2 sets – Vondrousova was dynamite in qualifying and Hesse, with respect, is one of the more favourable first round opponents. Hesse’s lone win in Paris came in 2015.
Sevastova d. Beck in 2 sets – Beck leads the H2H, 2-0 and has dropped just six games! Could be one of those match-ups but would expect a different result based on their respective form. Wins have been scarce for Beck this year and Sevastova has more variety and touch to her game.
Strycova d. Riske in 3 sets – Expecting a competitive match, Riske is much improved on clay. Same could be said for Strycova who reached the third round of the French Open last year having gone 12 years in Paris without a win.
Kr. Pliskova d. Pacquet in 2 sets – Kr. Pliskova has had a pretty sound clay court season, reaching the final of Prague and QFs of Strasbourg.
Suarez Navarro d. Sakkari in 2 sets – Sakkari won a set in their only previous encounter at the AO. Her intensity could challenge but I think the quality of CSN on this surface will prevail in the end.
Martic d. Bondarenko in 2 sets – Delightful to see Martic back who has a gorgeous game to watch. Bondarenko has lost her last four and been quite vulnerable this year in tight matches. Why not Martic to keep on winning.
Kasatkina d. Wickmayer in 3 sets – Again injury concerns, who knows?! I’ll give Kasatkina the benefit of the doubt.
French Open R1 Polls for Tuesday
French Open R1 Predictions for Monday
Day 2 – 18 / 26
Muguruza d. Schiavone in 3 sets – A very interesting opener for Muguruza who I just can’t figure out this year. I’m not concerned by the neck injury from Rome but more so by Schiavone’s spirit and resourcefulness (a word?) on this surface. Not quite feeling the upset but Muguruza will need to play a decent match to prevail.
Mladenovic d. Brady in 2 sets – Mladenovic gets big match billing on PC court so i’m intrigued to see how she deals with it all. Over half of Brady’s wins this year came at the Aussie Open and her form has been patchy at best since. Mlads with more aggressive variety for the win.
Wozniacki d. Fourlis in 2 sets – Woz for the win.
Ka. Pliskova d. Zheng Saisai in 2 sets – Pondered a three setter, Zheng Saisai has some really nice touches to her game and she is really competent at the net. Just wonder if her health could be an issue as she has been sporting a lot of strapping in her recent matches.
Stosur d. Kucova in 2 sets – Strasbourg champ has had a day off and this *should* be a routine opener. Kucova is no walkover though.
Parmentier d. Khromacheva in 3 sets – No strong feelings, Parmentier has lost her last two matches on tour but has generally had a good year.
Bertens d. Tomljanovic in 2 sets – Bertens is one to watch during these two weeks, would fancy a relatively routine opener.
Linette d. Lim in 3 sets – Both players are seeking their first ever main draw win at the French Open. Linette has won their two previous matches in straight sets.
Gavrilova d. Mertens in 3 sets – Gavrilova won their most recent encounter in Rabat for the loss of just three games, but Mertens was likely exhausted having reached the Istanbul final the week before and having played a gruelling first rounder in Turkey. A minor upset alert as Mertens is dangerous. Gavrilova could be tired from Strasbourg but should have built up some confidence from 12 wins on the clay.
Errani d. Doi in 2 sets – I think that going through qualifying was actually positive for Errani. Not sure about Doi as she was forced to retire in the semi-finals of Nurnberg due to an apparent abdominal injury.
Kontaveit d. Niculescu in 3 sets – I’m always interested to see how up-and-comers play Niculescu and I always use it as a bit of a litmus test! Niculescu is not at her best on clay and is having a disappointing year with just one win since Australia. I think Kontaveit may take a set to work out Niculescu but I do think the Estonian player will figure it out eventually.
Bellis d. Lemoine in 2 sets – First RG main draw match for both players, Bellis has more experience at tour level though.
Petkovic d. Lepchenko in 3 sets – A toss-up, not a clue! I think it could be a gruelling match. Just edging towards Petkovic’s fight over Lepchenko’s superior power.
Davis d. Witthoeft in 3 sets – Another toss-up for me, Witthoeft is IMO better than her current ranking. Davis’s first match as a Slam seed, sometimes her tactics can be a bit off but I think her consistency over the year probably stands her as the favourite.
Putintseva d. Georges in 2 sets – Who knows with Poots, should win in straights. Georges did beat McHale last year at RG.
Haddad Maia d. Vesnina in 2 sets – Vesnina has won just one match on tour since her Indian Wells triumph and has never done that well on clay. Haddad Maia has won 16 matches on clay including coming through qualifying. I would say a solid upset pick based on form.
Hogenkamp d. Jankovic in 3 sets – Like Haddad Maia, Hogenkamp has won a lot of matches on clay and wins = confidence even if the calibre of opponent is not as high. Hogenkamp is on a 13 match winning streak and came through qualifying! The thought of Jankovic serving out sets and matches now terrifies me.
Larsson d. Vikhlyantseva in 2 sets – I really like elements of Vikhlyantseva’s game but she has weaknesses that can be exploited. Vikhlyantseva played great in Prague but has been very inconsistent between tournaments. Larsson’s last match on tour was a 1-6 0-6 loss to Carina Witthoeft! Feeling the edge with Larsson on clay.
Begu d. Duque-Marino in 2 sets – Begu not entirely convincing on clay this year but I think she’s good enough to outpower MDM.
Konjuh d. Kovinic in 3 sets – Konjuh hasnt played since Madrid while Kovinic hasn’t won since a WTA level match since the Australian Open.
Flipkens d. Minella in 2 sets – Minella missed most of the clay court season so despite what had been a good year, going for Flipper who has never lost in this head-to-head.
Vandeweghe d. Rybarikova in 3 sets – Wonderful to see Rybarikova back on the tour who is on a ten match winning streak (not on clay). Anything possible with Vandeweghe. I’m hoping Rybarikova will be around for the grass because she’s gorgeous to watch!
Siniakova d. Alexandrova in 2 sets – Siniakova having an up-and-down kind of year, should come through this one but who knows?
Zhang Shuai d. Vekic in 3 sets – Similar type of games, Zhang Shuai has lost her last six but I think there will be no surprises against Vekic. Vekic has played well of late but my instinct was Zhang Shuai might snag a vital win in a tense and tight match. Zhang Shuai leads the H2H, 2-1.
Pavlyuchenkova d. Tig in 2 sets – I’ve picked Pavs as a finalist so i’m naturally nervous! Based on form, Pavs for the win.
Abanda d. Andrianjafitrimo in 2 sets – Can’t say much about this one to be honest! Been impressed with snippets of what i’ve seen from Abanda on the big stage but hasn’t seemed to string it together elsewhere.
Bogdan d. Jabeur in 3 sets – Again not much insight, I think I read that Jabeur was struggling with an injury in the final qualifying round.
French Open R1 Polls for Monday
French Open R1 Predictions for Sunday
Day 1 – 11 / 16
Kvitova d. Boserup in 3 sets – Impossible to know how Kvitova will be physically and mentally in her first match back. I’ve gone for Kvitova because this is a decent draw on paper with Boserup’s only wins on clay this year coming against players ranked outside of the world’s top 200. I’ll repeat what I said my main draw preview that win or lose in this match, Petra is a champ.
Makarova d. Kerber in 3 sets – Not clear cut for me but worth the risk as Makarova is a quality player who has raised her level to defeat two top ten players during this clay court season in Radwanska and Cibulkova. If her back is against the wall, I just don’t know if Kerber has the belief to dig herself out of a hole.
Kuznetsova d. McHale in 3 sets – This has three set mess written all over it… McHale has been on a barren run of form of late, winning just two of her last ten matches. Kuznetsova is the more suited to clay and should come through in the end.
V.Williams d. Wang Qiang in 2 sets – A deceptively tricky opener for Venus against Wang Qiang who has won nine matches on the clay this year, more than double her career tally before this year’s clay court season. I think Venus will be highly motivated knowing that she has as good a chance as any to win this tournament and her more aggressive game will be the difference. Going for two tight sets.
Giorgi d. Dodin in 3 sets – A ballbashers paradise! Both have huge games and have secured some decent wins during the clay court season. I’m favouring Giorgi as I think she is the more relentless and focused. Expect flashy winners, unforced errors into the back fence and the whole caboodle!
Cibulkova d. Arruabarrena in 2 sets – Arruabarrena has enjoyed some excellent results on the clay, notably reaching the final of Bogota and the third round of Madrid. Still, even with Cibulkova not playing close to her 2016 level, I think the Slovak player will be the more consistent of the two in the key moments.
Puig d. Vinci in 3 sets – Vinci leads the head-to-head, 2-0, but has often struggled with the conditions at Roland Garros with a negative W-L record. Puig hasn’t won back-to-back matches on the clay this year.
Sasnovich d. Golubic in 3 sets – Sasnovich has won their two previous matches in 2017 including a heartbreaker for Golubic in Fed Cup action. For this particular match-up, i’d guess that Golubic will be more comfortable on the clay. Still, I think mentally that Sasnovich will have the edge.
Lucic-Baroni d. Buyukakcay in 2 sets – Buyukakcay’s two main draw wins in 2017 both came at her home tournament in Istanbul. A slight fear she could get blown off the court by Lucic-Baroni.
Mattek-Sands d. Rodina in 2 sets – The pair haven’t played for over seven years. I’d go for BMS with the three qualifying wins likely to help her out having got used to the courts.
Ostapenko d. Chirico in 2 sets – If Chirico had more matches i’d have given her a chance in this one as she is most suited to the clay. However, Chirico has been injured for much of the year and Ostapenko, while still quite streaky at times, has played and won a lot of matches on clay this year.
Anisimova d. Nara in 2 sets – I really like the 15-year-old to get her first main draw here.
Goerges d. Brengle in 3 sets – Surprisingly a first time match up. Brengle could drive Goerges mad with her variation and lack of pace. Going for Goerges to find a way but a tad wary as always!
Kozlova d. Tsurenko in 3 sets – A toss up for me, gone for Kozlova as Tsurenko never seems to be 100% physically.
Bacsinszky d. Sorribes Tormo in 2 sets – Sorribes Tormo is at her best on clay but so is Bacsinszky. This will require a mentally solid display from Bacsinszky as SST can be tough to break down – I think Bacsinszky has the variety to do so.
Rogers d. Erakovic in 2 sets – Rogers is defending quarter-final points this year so a tough challenge! Rogers needed a third set tiebreak to get past Erakovic earlier in the year in Miami. I’ll go for the straight sets win this time round as Rogers has had a good year and Erakovic has yet to win on clay this year.
French Open R1 Polls for Sunday