What the seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has achieved and continues to achieve late into the twilight of her career is remarkable. At the age of 36 she progressed to her first Grand Slam singles final since the 2009 Wimbledon final, which shows the unbelievable longevity of her career, having turned professional back in 1994.
In the third round she meets Belgian rising star Elise Mertens. Mertens is having her breakthrough year on the WTA Tour, winning her first WTA title in Hobart and gaining much-needed, meaningful victories throughout the season, which can only set her up nicely in terms of her self-belief for big matches like this against one of the game’s greatest champions in Williams.
Williams’ experience will be telling in this match. Mertens should provide a good account of herself in a rare showing on the big stage on Philippe Chatrier court.
Prediction: Venus Williams in three tight sets.
Dominic Thiem  vs Steve Johnson  H2H: Thiem leads 1-0
Like most American male players, Steve Johnson possesses a much stronger forehand in comparison to his backhand, but he also has a powerful first serve to often give himself a slender advantage at the beginning of most rallies. The American’s results on the clay has really been a breath of fresh air for many avid American tennis fans as they have waited for quite some time for a significant improvement on this surface.
It will not be easy for Johnson in the third round as he prepares to meet the red hot Dominic Thiem. Johnson has recently won the Houston title on the clay, but facing one of the more adept movers on this surface should be a tough ask. I expect Thiem to dominate a lot of the points with his brutal forehand in order to get the victory on Day 6 of Roland Garros.
Prediction: Thiem in four sets.
Caroline Wozniacki  vs Catherine Bellis H2H: Wozniacki leads 1-0
When looking from afar, some may say that a former World No.1 facing an eighteen year old should be a fairly routine match-up, but Catherine Bellis is not any ordinary eighteen year old. Bellis became known in the tennis world following her win at the 2014 US Open against the 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova and many people took more notice of her progress because of that standout result.
Caroline Wozniacki has a love-hate relationship with the clay. It is not her preferred surface and despite being one of the great movers on the tour, she has never adapted well to the considerable demands of moving on a clay court.
Wozniacki beat Bellis earlier this year in Dubai. I still feel Wozniacki will prevail victorious in this match, but I expect Bellis to make it much more of a contest this time around in Paris.
Prediction: Wozniacki in two sets.
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