There are a lot of interesting matches scheduled to play out today. Let’s look at the potentially interesting ones as well as an interesting and largely unnoticed fact.
- Kyrgios vs Gasquet (H2H: 2 – 5): This one sure feels like a firecracker of a match in the making. They’ve played seven times with Gasquet coming out the victor in five of them, but Kyrgios won their last match easily. He bageled Gasquet in one of those sets. Roland Garros and the pressure it brings, typically crushes the uber mentally fragile Richie. Unlike Monfils or Tsonga, he doesn’t do well standing up to the expectations of his country men. I don’t see a change in the trend today. Unless Kyrgios theatrics come up long enough for Gasquet to open his shoulders up, Kyrgios should sail through. (Kyrgios in four)
- Karlovic vs Murray (H2H: 0 – 7): Murray has never lost a match to Dr. Ivo in seven matches and he’s only lost four sets but three of those four sets lost have been in tiebreakers. That minute stat and the fact that Murray comes into this match already logging over seven hours of play could cause potential problems for the Scotsman. He can’t afford to let too many sets go the distance. If he wants to get out of this one largely unscathed, Murray needs to return like a wizard, against Karlovic. No pressure. It won’t be easy, but Murray has shown in this tournament that he knows how to scrap out a win… or two. (Murray in three)
- Nishikori vs Verdasco (H2H: 1 – 3): Well what do you know? The underdog leads this head to head. However, it is a bit misleading. Verdasco logged in his wins at a time when Nishikori was still in the process of discovering his top ten game. They have played sparingly over the years but they did as recently as last year with Nishikori notching up a three set win at the BNP Paribas. Verdasco is not your typical clay court specialist. He loves to go big and he loves to go flat. When he’s on, he is dangerous on any surface. However Nishikori -despite his small frame – can play lights out tennis as well. He’s got the edge in confidence too. (Nishikori in five)
- Quick side note, did you know that four Americans will be competing in today’s third round matches? That number is polled from both the men and women’s matches scheduled. Yup! Four. In the third round! On clay. They’ve been flying under the radar and I’d have loved to keep it that way, but me and my big mouth and gossiping fingers. Call it a small victory and here’s to at least two making it to the second week.
Happy Tennis watching, guys.