PARIS, FRANCE – We take a look at the three matches not to miss out on on Day 2 of Roland-Garros.
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Stan Wawrinka  vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez | H2H: Wawrinka leads 7-3
The first of our matches to look out for on Day 2 of Roland-Garros is the rematch between former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The one big question is what sort of tennis will we see from the Swiss. The three-time Grand Slam champion has not had as many matches as he would have liked due to a setback in his recovery from knee surgery and has only played a handful of matches in Rome and Geneva, where he went out in the first round in Italy and made the semi-finals of his home event in Geneva.
Garcia-Lopez is approaching the twilight years of his career, but he is more than capable of producing an upset to rock the tennis world in the first few days of a Grand Slam event. He actually knocked Wawrinka out at the first round stage of Roland-Garros four years ago and will fancy his chances of unwinding on a few one-handed backhands and hopefully causing the upset. All three wins in this head-to-head from the Spaniard has come on the red clay.
The form of Wawrinka is always a major concern. He has not had the matches under his belt, so it really remains to be seen how far Wawrinka can go at this year’s event.
Katerina Siniakova vs Victoria Azarenka | H2H: First time meeting
The second of our matches to watch features the return to Roland-Garros of two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka, who has not played at this event in two years. This is just the fifth tournament that Azarenka has played since Wimbledon of last year and it should be compelling to see how she gets on on the red clay in Paris. It is not her most natural of surfaces as she admittedly plays much better on the hard courts in New York and on the grass, but is a former semi-finalist at Roland-Garros, so she will be hoping she can make the most of a draw that has already opened up with the likes of Jelena Ostapenko and Venus Williams dropping out of her section.
Katerina Siniakova should make this a real interesting watch. When she controls her emotions on the court she can be a real great ball-striker and has the power on the backhand side to cause many players problems, but can she get in the right mindset to take down a very formidable opponent on a big stage at a major? Azarenka’s serve still continues to have the same notable frailties and that has been apparent on her return to the court, but I think she will frustrate Siniakova on the return of serve and have the edge in groundstroke to groundstroke in the rally.
Prediction: Azarenka in two sets.
Andrea Petkovic vs Kristina Mladenovic  H2H: Petkovic leads 4-0
One of the most interesting battles on Day 2 sees 2014 Roland-Garros semi-finalist Andrea Petkovic take on one of the leading Frenchwomen of the fortnight in Kristina Mladenovic. Both are miles away from their previous peaks, but all tennis fans will be aware of the damage that both competitors can do on this surface and at this event. Mladenovic carried the Parisian crowd on her shoulders on her way to the quarter-finals last year, but has since fallen down in the rankings dramatically after months and months of injury and bad form.
Petkovic’s career has also been derailed by injury and she will be itching to make another big push into the latter stages of a tournament she has done so well at, which will give her ranking a bit of a much-needed boost.
Prediction: Mladenovic in three sets
Play begins on Roland Garros Day 2 at 11am (10am BST).
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