First round offered many upsets as we saw 2 top 10 players leaving out in women’s race – Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and US Open finalist Roberta Vinci. Outstanding favorites in the men scheme also had huge difficulties with their first opponents. Last year’s champion Stan Wawrinka beats in 5 sets Lukasz Rossol, while Andy Murray needs two days to overcome also in five sets Radek Stеpanek. Wednesday matches suggest interesting meetings in both draws. Most battles can offer new surprises, so tomorrow action shouldn’t be missed.
(5) Kei Nishikori – Andrey Kuznetsov
Last year quarterfinalist Kei Nishikori is in Paris for his 6th appearance in the main draw. With very good results, Kei has positioned himtself stable in top 10 and looks like he is in great shape for making another big Slam run. Clay season for Nishikori is successful. He reached semifinals in both Masters events – Madrid and Rome and played final in Barcelona. In this 3 tournaments he lost against Nadal and Djokovic twice, but in very tough battles. Here in Paris,Nishikori started the tournament with three sets win against Simone Bolelli.
His opponent tomorrow will be the Russian Andrey Kuznetsov. He also won his first match easy, in straight sets against Benjamin Becker. Kuznetsov made great appearance in first Major this year. In Melbourne he reached 4th round, where he was beaten by Monfils, but after AO he didn’t make something impressive.
Nishikori and Kuznetsov met only once, which is far away in time. In 2010 they met in Eastbourne on grass and Kei retired from the match while being 4/6 1/3 down. Can the russian continue with another victory against the Japanese, or the large class of sixth in the world will emerge, we get to know tomorrow. Currently rank as no.40 in the world Kuznetsov might be serious test for Nishikori in early round.
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska – Caroline Garcia
Reasons why you definitely should keep an eye on this match are not one or two. First, French open definitely is not favourite Slam for Radwanska. With 9 apperances, Aga has only 1 quarterfinal, reached in 2013.Last year she lost her first match. In 2016 the Polish shows stable results, as always, she continues to be one of the best tennis players near the top of the ranking. Clay season for Aga is not the best for her. She reached the semifinals in Stuttgart, but lost early in Madrid and didn’t participate in other large preparatory tournament in Europe – Rome. The World no.2 won her first match on Monday easy and gave only 2 games to Jovanovski, but her current opponent is really dangerous. Caroline Garcia is in great run which starts last week in Strasbourg. In home land she won her second WTA title. The French has 6 participations in the second Grand Slam tournament, but won only 2 matches against 6 losses. Whether this year has not come her moment of victory loud and good performance, remains to be seen.
Radwanska leads the h2h 2-1, with meetings in 2014 in Madrid and Wuhan, and 2015 in Dubai. All of those matches were serious hard battle. In all of them the winner was decided in three sets.
In Wuhan 2014 Garcia won with tiebreaks in second and third sets, but their last meeting was won by Aga 6/3 2/6 6/3.
The match is scheduled on Philippe-Chatrier
(21) Samantha Stosur – Shuai Zhang
When we see the name of former finalist in the tournament and Grand Slam champion we should always have one in mind. Samantha Stosur is one of the most experienced players of the tour and this time she participates for 14th straight year in Roland Garros. With one final and two semifinals she is one of the players with the best results in Paris. Clay season for Sam includes 5 tournaments. Her best result is final in Prague, where she lost in three sets by Lucie Safarova. After that Stosur reached the semifinal in the second big clay tournament in women’s calendar – Madrid. In first round here Stosur needed two days to past difficult Misaki Doi in three sets.
Seeded as no. 21 the Australian Open,she is so unpredictable and now her opponent is one of the new names this season – Shuai Zhang. Her name gets notoriety during Australian open this season. Started from qualifications, and reached quarterfinal and progressed with many positions in worlds ranking. Despite the good performance in Melbourne, Zhang didn’t continue her successful performance in other tournaments of the WTA calendar. She also lost early оn the clay tournaments last 2 months.
In Monday she reached second round in Paris for the first time in her career, but she also made the same thing in Australia this year. So, here appears the question is she ready to make another successful Major tournament?
The match between Stosur and Zhang is tomorrow at Court 3
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