The line up for the second week of the French Open will be finalised on Saturday when the first week of the second major of the season concludes around the grounds at the Roland Garros complex in Paris, on another top looking day of tennis.
We saw some great action over the course of Friday and now the other half of the draws are back on show on Saturday there is no reason why we won’t see even more with a number of matches between seeded players on the schedule.
Day 6 Recap
There were routine victories for Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev on Friday while in the women’s draw Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens were equally as easy winners while the likes of Leylah Fernandez and Amanda Anisimova progressed in tighter matches. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Diego Schwartzman were also winners on what was a decent day of tennis across the show courts.
It was a profitable day for us on Friday as well with that profit secured from the off when Aliaksandra Sasnovich was far too good for Angelique Kerber, with the Belarusian winning in straight sets and looking pretty good in the process. That profit was eaten into when Filip Krajinovic was unable to get the better of Felix Auger-Aliassime. He went down in three tight sets, all of which could have gone the other way but profit is profit.
Philippe Chatrier Court
We begin on Saturday with the overwhelming favourite for the women’s title in Iga Swiatek. Danka Kovinic is the latest player looking to take on what is fast becoming the toughest challenge in tennis. Two unseeded players then take to the court in the second match of the day when the home star Alize Cornet meets the Chinese player Qinwen Zhang who shocked Simona Halep in the previous round. Another French player rounds off the day session on the main court when Gilles Simon meets Marin Cilic and then the night session weirdly sees two unseeded players going at it when Holger Rune takes on the home star Hugo Gaston in a very questionable choice for the night game.
Suzanne Lenglen Court
Two more unseeded players get the action underway on the second court when Irina Begu meets another home player in Leolia Jeanjean who will be looking to follow up her win over Karolina Pliskova. The number two seed in the men’s draw takes to the stage after them when Daniil Medvedev meets Miomir Kecmanovic in what should be a cracking contest before Paula Badosa meets Veronika Kudermetova. The final match of the day on this court sees Stefanos Tsitsipas continuing his title charge when he meets Mikael Ymer.
Simonne Mathieu Court
We begin with the men on the third court on Saturday where Jannik Sinner will look to make the second week of the competition when he takes on Mackenzie McDonald. Two seeded players meet then when another Italian takes to the court as Camila Giorgi meets Aryna Sabalenka. Hubert Hurkacz will be on the court in the third match of the day when he meets David Goffin with a decent schedule coming to a close with the match between Madison Keys and Elena Rybakina.
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Best of the Rest
There are just four other matches taking place on Saturday with three of them coming on Court 14 where Andrey Rublev opens up the show when he meets Cristian Garin before Jessica Pegula meets the former semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek and then after a doubles match Casper Ruud takes on Lorenzo Sonego in a match which probably deserved a better stage than what it has got. The other match comes on Court 7 where Shelby Rogers takes on Daria Kasatkina.
Hubert Hurkacz has looked ok on the clay this season but I wouldn’t say he has looked anything better than that and he has never been past this round at Roland Garros which makes me think that David Goffin could be good value to get rid of him. The obvious starting standpoint when assessing this match is that the pair met in Rome a couple of weeks ago and Goffin won in two tight sets. I haven’t seen anything to suggest Hurkacz is a guarantee to turn that around.
Goffin opened up the clay swing with the title in Morocco and then followed that up with creditable efforts in Monte Carlo and Madrid. We all know that without the injuries Goffin is a top 10 player in the world and is very accomplished on this surface and assuming he has no fitness issues in this match I think the variety in his game can be too much for Hurkacz, who needs his serve to be more effective than it is going to be in this one.
You can pick holes in the form of the second round wins of both Qinwen Zheng and Alize Cornet but I think the experience, home crowd and the big stadium will play on the side of the French player and I think she is value to come through at odds against. Cornet was the beneficiary of a ridiculous unforced errors tally from Jelena Ostapenko in the previous round but Cornet was good when she needed to be, as she was when walloping Misaki Doi in the opening round.
Zheng looked like she was on her way home in the second round when she was a set and a break down to Simona Halep but then things got too much for the Romanian who suffered a panic attack and from that moment on offered little to nothing in the contest. That clearly isn’t going to happen here and for all the talent the Chinese youngster has, these are all new experiences for her. Cornet has seen it all before and I think that experience can be the difference here.
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