Tsvetana Pironkova has made a successful transition from the New York hardcourts to the European clay, taking out former semifinalist Andrea Petkovic in her opening match here. Her game is based around a big first serve, a venomous slice forehand and flat groundstrokes.
However, the heavier conditions aren’t supposed to help the Bulgarian who lost all the five previous meetings against the former World No.1 Serena Williams. A good start will be key for Williams who can gain a little extra self-confidence from her first-round victory.
Alexander Zverev and Pierre-Hugues Herbertmeet for the second time at Roland Garros. in 2016, in their lone previous Tour-level clash, the German won in 4 sets. Herbert won all 3 of the matches they contested below Tour-level in 2013-15.
Zverev has won both of his previous meetings against French players at Roland Garros and all six matches he has played against French opposition at the Grand Slams and has a 23-8 win-loss record against French opposition at Tour-level overall.
The German No.1 has never lost a Roland Garros match to a player ranked as low as No. 78 Herbert. The lowest-ranked player to defeat Zverev here is No. 37 Fernando Verdasco in the 1st round in 2017.
Besides Zverev, an accomplished clay-courter, told reporters he was very happy with the new balls after his first round win.
Kopfer shocked everyone in Rome, as he took a set off eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He will meet the Swiss No.2 for the first time in his career. Conditions are expected to favour the big-hitting Swiss, one of the strongest players on the tour.
On the other side, Koepfer can move very well himself and has very intelligent shot selection. His inexperience at major level could make the difference.
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