The second match on Chatrier sees the 149th men’s Grand Slam champion, Marin Cilic, play the 150th major champion, Dominic Thiem. The pair actually contested a match at this year’s US Open, with the Austrian winning a third round clash in four sets.
The 2020 US Open champion aims to maintain his unbeaten record against the Croat in the second first-round clash. Thiem has finished runner-up here in the last couple of years, and will hope a strong performance today can help build momentum as he looks to go one better this time round.
Clearly, the heavy conditions and the cold weather requires balance and give an advantage to heavy hitters, making life harder for counter-puncher. Thiem seems to have enough brutal force to make the difference.
In the final match of the day on Suzanne Lenglen, No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev will play Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics. The Russian has yet to win a match at Roland Garros, having lost in the first round on his three previous appearances here. Medvedev reached the semifinals at the US Open, but he suffered a first round defeat in his lone previous match on clay this year, having fallen to Ugo Humbert at Hamburg.
Fucsovics isn’t a comfortable opponent if you want to avoid an upset. He’s solid, consistent, can drill massive shots from the baseline off both sides. He doesn’t possess the same vast array of tricks as the Russian, but he has his chances of defeating the higher-ranked opponent. Although he has won just one set against Medvedev, on clay at 2018 Monte Carlo-1000. And the Russian has not lost a Grand Slam match to a player ranked as low as No. 63 Fucsovics since the 2017 US Open.
Marketa Vondrousova, the 2019 Roland Garros runner-up, will face Iga Swiatekfor the first time in her career. The No.15 seed has a 10-3 win-loss record in Paris, culminated in the straight-sets victory in last year’s semifinal over Johanna Konta that made her the youngest Roland-Garros singles finalist since Ana Ivanovic in 2007.
Since that revelatory run, Vondrousova struggled with a left wrist injury that shut down her 2019 season. Showing an understandable lack of rhythm, she had won back-to-back matches just once before before the recent semifinal showing in Rome.
Swiatek celebrated her 18th birthday last year reaching the fourth round at the Roland Garros. The Polish prodigy looked undaunted by the prospect of facing the top players, so Vondrousova will need her best tennis to move to the second round.
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