PARIS, FRANCE – On Day 7 of Roland Garros, Garbiñe Muguruza, Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber are among the players taking to the court as we take a look at an action-packed order of play.
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Garbiñe Muguruza  vs Sam Stosur | H2H: Muguruza leads 2-1
The 2018 season has been a rather hit-and-miss one for the former French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza. Some very high moments, but also some matches that have not quite fallen her way during the clay season, particularly in Madrid and Rome, where she lost some agonisingly tough matches.
The pattern we have seen throughout Muguruza’s short career so far, is her ability to bring her better tennis for the big matches at the big tournaments and she has come through her first two matches very well, considering she did not have the greatest of form coming into the fortnight. A win over Svetlana Kuznetsova after a high quality first set, was very much a statement of intent and she now faces Sam Stosur, who also plays well on the red clay, too.
A former French Open finalist here, Stosur has a lot on the line in this match. A loss would send her outside the Top 100, which would be the first time she drops out of the Top-100 in 10 years. I think Stosur has the pop on serve to cause Muguruza problems and her forehand can be devastating on clay, but I think the backhand is a weakness that often gets exposed when she faces a step up in class.
Rafael Nadal  vs Richard Gasquet  | H2H: Nadal leads 15-0
All eyes from a Parisian perspective will be firmly on what Richard Gasquetcan do to upset the baseline game of Rafael Nadal in their 16th meeting on the ATP tour. Nadal has won the previous 15 matches, and has won 23 sets in a row against the Frenchman, with his last set dropped coming all the way back in 2008. This match-up completely suits the Spaniard, because the one-handed backhand can be vulnerable with heavy top-spin on a clay court and Nadal also plays well against players that give up a lot of ground in the baseline exchanges.
I think this is a match where Gasquet can win sets and keep it competitive, but he has to do something different. He has to try things out and not get caught up in the comfortable, predictable trading from the back of the court as Nadal will simply pick him off.
Prediction: Nadal in four sets.
Angelique Kerber  vs Kiki Bertens  H2H: Tied at 1-1
Former World No.1 Angelique Kerber faces a very tall order in her third round match in Paris as she tries to rally her way past Kiki Bertens. Bertens’ success story has seen her produce some of the most stunning numbers on this surface and she has been one of the most consistent clay-court specialists over recent years, which is why I would give her the slight edge in this match-up.
These two actually met at the beginning of the French Open in 2016, where Kerber fell in the first round and it felt like a shock to many when Bertens performed the way she did on her way to a first major semi-final, but after sealing a title win in Charleston, making the final in Madrid and playing well last week in Nuremburg, I feel Bertens is in a very good position to win this match and to really stake her claim as one of the contenders for this very tournament.
Prediction: Bertens in two sets.
Play continues at Roland Garros at 11am (10am BST).
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