Aljaz Bedene is one of four five British players in the singles draws this week and has made a habit of winning regularly and gaining momentum coming into Roland Garros. Bedene starts against America’s Ryan Harrison in the first round. When you look at both player’s games and patterns of play on a tennis court it looks a very intriguing match-up. Harrison will look to dominate with his first serve and forehand combination that he usually utilises so well on a hard court, while Bedene is much more familiar with how to move efficiently on the red clay.
Harrison won his first ATP tour title in Memphis earlier this year and is currently playing at a career high, which is incredible given his considerable fall from grace in the 2014 season. The Brit Bedene notched an impressive run of 16 wins on the red clay, which culminated in a loss to Lucas Pouillein the Budapest final. Bedene’s familiarity with this surface puts him forward as the favourite in this match-up against Harrison.
Kyle Edmund‘s first test at this year’s Roland Garros is Portugal’s Gastao Elias. In many ways, he’s experienced the same process inside the World’s Top 100 as Edmund himself. Edmund has had Andy Murray leading the way for Great Britain, while Elias is very much in the shadow of Portugal’s most successful player on the ATP tour, Joao Sousa.
Elias likes the red clay. He approaches tennis in a similar fashion to Edmund. The Portuguese player searches for his forehand but his main weakness is his return of serve. Just last week, Elias got a precious victory over the 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the inaugural event in Lyon, so will be high in confidence going into his seventh ever Grand Slam main draw.
Edmund’s biggest strength is finding the first forehand and striving to win the points with that first shot, which I think could be an overwhelming prospect for the lower-ranked Elias, who is yet to win a Grand Slam main draw match in his career.
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