Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin match at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, London
Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin match at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, London | (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Tennis | Roland Garros 2020 | Three matches to see on Day 1

  • Caroline Garcia will face Anett Kontaveit who beat her in both their previous meetings on clay
  • Jannik Sinner, the youngest top 100 in the ATP Rankings, will raise the curtain under the new roof on Philippe Chatrier against David Goffin
  • Alexander Zverev will open his campaign facing the Austrian Dennis Novak
PARIS, France – In a rainy Paris, the Roland Garros will start surrounded by uncertainties. We pick the must-see matches for Day 1.


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Anett Kontaveit [17] v Caroline Garcia | H2H tied at 2-2

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Anett Kontaveit defeated Caroline Garcia in straight sets in Rome last week. She won both the clashes on clay against the former top-10, who’s struggling to find her best form. The Frenchwoman had never moved beyond the quarterfinals in her home Grand Slam tournament in 2017.

This year she trained at the Nadal Academy in Mallorca, coming off fitter and more aggressive from the baseline. However, apart from a stunning performance to dismiss Karolina Pliskova at the US Open, she lacks consistency. The No.7 seed isn’t the ideal opponent. She can have fewer plans, but she’s extremely reliable.

Prediction: Kontaveit in three sets

READ MORE | Tennis | Roland Garros 2020 | Johanna Konta prepares to face Coco Gauff in an intriguing opener

Jannik Sinner v David Goffin [11] | H2H: Sinner leads 1-0

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The Italian teenager Jannik Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, will start his maiden Roland Garros campaign against David Goffin. The match is scheduled first on Philippe Chatrier, raising the curtain on this strange edition, threatened by COVID-19 and rain.

Sinner, the youngest top-100 in the ATP Rankings, beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome. He already defeated the Belgian in Rotterdam. That was his first victory over a top-10 opponent. But the match was played on indoor hard courts, in very different conditions.

Sinner trained with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in Paris these days. But Goffin’s experience should make the difference.

Prediction: Goffin in four sets.

READ MORE | Tennis | Roland Garros 2020 | Murray & Wawrinka face each other once more on the clay that broke them


Alexander Zverev [6] v Dennis Novak | No H2H

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Alexander Zverev believes the US Open hasn’t been his last chance to win a major. The German will open his campaign in Paris against the World No.91 Dennis Novak. The Austrian, born 6 days before Dominic Thiem and in same town as his good friend, considers grass his favourite surface. He has a decent backhand, although he prefers playing in quicker conditions. In Paris, he will find cold weather, rain, and heavy balls.

Zverev could take advantage from his renewed confidence and the huge amount of space available behind the baseline to generate power. In his past experiences at the French Open, however, he indulged too much in his defensive steadiness, arriving exhausted in the closing stages. Experience should bring him to reach a more effective balance.

Prediction: Zverev in three sets.

Play starts at 11am (10am BST).


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