French Open 2021 – Top Five Men’s Potential First Week Matchups
The French Open is in full swing. The first two days have seen their share of amazing matches, as well as business as usual for many of the top players. The only big upset was Dominic Thiem going down in five sets, after leading two sets to none. That’s no surprise though, as he hasn’t been the best version of himself as of late. On the other hand, Medvedev, who has been publicly displaying disgust for the red clay, and routinely exits in the first round of clay tournaments, looked good in his first-round victory.
We now head into the later rounds of the first week. The third and fourth rounds of majors are always my favorite because there are so many great matches going on at the same time. This year promises to be no different. Here are five matches to look for:
Third Round: Matteo Berrettini (9) vs Auger-Aliassime (20)
The big Italian against the younger upstart will be interesting to watch. Auger-Aliassime is now being coached by none other than Uncle Toni Nadal and has not had the best results during the clay-court tune-ups. Berrettini, on the other hand, has been playing decently and picked up the Serbian Open title a couple of weeks ago. Expect a physical match with lots of shot-making.
Third Round: Taylor Fritz (30) vs. Roger Federer (8)
Taylor Fritz is quickly becoming the top American. He’s posted some great results as of late. Fritz wasn’t very successful on the clay-court swing. However, this is a Grand Slam, and Taylor has been showing some big-time tennis on the big stages. He’ll need that and more if he hopes to take out the great Roger Federer, who looked mighty sharp in his first-round match.
Third Round: Schwartzman (10) vs. Karatsev (24)
This is one of the most interesting matchups. Karasev shocked Shwartzman in the third round of the Australian Open on his way to the semifinals. Shwartzman lost in straight sets. They would meet again in Madrid. This time Schwartzman would lose in three. Schwartzman has had a dismal season on the clay. Meanwhile, Karatsev continues to rise in the rankings. Can Schwartzman find his game at the French Open?
Fourth Round: Ruud (15) vs. Fognini (27)
The up-and-comer Casper Ruud will have to be at his best if Fognini decides to make a match of it. Fognini has been one of the most prolific clay courters of the last ten years, being one of the only ones to post wins against Nadal. Ruud is looking to continue his rise in the rankings. Will the Italian magician show up to this match? Or will Ruud continue his rise?
Fourth Round: Garin (22) vs. Medvedev (2)
It was exciting to see Medvedev look like the world #2 in his first-round match. If he posts a couple of more wins, it’s likely he’ll find himself playing clay-court specialist Cristian Garin. It would be nice to see Medvedev get more wins on his least favorite surface.
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