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Panelists Predictions 2016 French Open Day 4 Men's Matches including Simon vs. Pella

Day 4 of the 2016 French Open will begin in earnest with the bottom half of the men’s draw taking the court. Our panel of Steen Kirby, Yesh Ginsburg, and guest Manuel Traquete of Men’s Tennis Forums, are on hand to pick some of the most intriguing matches of the day. For predictions of Day 4 women’s matches, click here.

Jack Sock vs. Dustin Brown

Steen: Jack Sock should be good enough on clay to not have to worry about qualifier Dustin Brown. He had a tough round 1 match against Robin Haase, and he should be alert for this match, but he’s far and above the better player here in what should be an entertaining contest. Sock in 3 sets

Yesh: Jack Sock struggled in his opening round, but Dustin Brown is not great on clay and Sock has been working on his clay game a lot. He might struggle again, but the American will find his form eventually. Sock in 4

Manuel: A match between two players who came through tough 5-setters in the 1st round despite being heavily favored to win. Brown is riding a wave of momentum, having swept through the qualifying before his win against Sela in round 1 and he will certainly fancy his chances of continuing his run and reach the 3rd round for the first time in Paris. Sock, on the other round, will certainly be optimistic of at least matching his R4 showing from 2015, especially after Cilic’s shocking elimination. With his incredible topspin FH on this surface, he will certainly be favored to progress here, but he’s also known for being mentally suspect and having serious fitness problems, so an upset can’t be written off. Sock in 4

Gilles Simon vs. Guido Pella

Steen: Simon had a routine round 1 with home support behind him, while Pella won a big match against his countryman Diego Schwartzman. Simon should be tested here against a solid clay court opponent, and he could suffer a defeat, but I have to go with Simon to prevail in the end. Simon in 4

Yesh: Guido Pella has come out of nowhere into the Top 50, but he doesn’t have the power to hit through Simon. The Frenchman will find his way through, though not without some bumps along the way. Simon in 4

Manuel: After achieving the best result of his career by making it to the Rio final in February, Pella has struggled a lot on the European clay, even losing to Mannarino of all people last week in Nice. He started his RG campaign by beating his countryman Schwartzman in 4 sets and as far as seeds go Simon is far from the worst opponent you can get, especially on this surface. With that said, as unimpressive as Simon has been throughout the clay season Pella hasn’t really shown anything to make one believe he’s up to the task of taking 3 sets off an opponent who’s so notoriously hard to put away. Simon in 4

Richard Gasquet vs. Bjorn Fratangelo

Steen: Fratangelo has won five of his last six, but Gasquet is a step above his usual competition, and although the American young gun is one of the better Yanks on clay, Gasquet should roll, just as he did against the tougher Thomaz Bellucci. Gasquet in 3

Yesh: Bjorn Fratagelo is a French Open Junior champion and upcoming American star. Richard Gasquet is a talented Frenchman who is just outside the Top 10 but never gets any credit. Fratangelo is due for a major breakthrough, but I don’t think it will come just quite yet. Gasquet in 3

Manuel: On paper, this is one of the most brutal mismatches of the round. Anything other than Gasquet in 3 sets would be a considerable upset, in what is, at least on paper, most likely the Frenchman’s easiest match in the tournament by far, with the likes of Kyrgios and Nishikori his projected opponents in the upcoming rounds, after a round 1 matchup against the always potentially dangerous Bellucci. Gasquet in 3

Benoit Paire vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili

Steen: Paire looked terrible in round 1, but he did survive, and he beat Gabashvili in Barcelona on clay earlier this year. Gabashvili broke a long losing streak when he defeated the clay averse Donald Young in routine fashion. In Paris, I have to favor Paire, but it should be a a battle. Paire in 4

Yesh: Teymuraz Gabashvili is a power-hitting veteran who looks to be in good form while Benoit Paire is a mercurial Frenchman who really struggled in his first round. Knowing Paire, he could turn it on any time and become nearly unbeatable, but as things stand now you can’t pick against Gaba.  Gabashvili in 3

Manuel: Paire matches are always very difficult to predict given his extremely unpredictable nature, not on a tournament to tournament basis or match to match but even point to point. No winner or set score would really be a shock here, Paire playing great and winning 3-0 is as likely as him self-destructing and losing 3-0 in 90 minutes. Gabashvili reached R16 last year and has chances to do so again this year looking at the draw, especially if he can find a way past Paire. Gabashvili in 5

Bonus: Kei Nishikori vs. Andrey Kuznetsov

Steen: Nishikori looked good in his first round match, but Andrey Kuznetsov is an ambitious rising Russian #1 who could give him a stiff challenge Kuznetsov was also routine in round 1 and he hits a rather heavy ball. Nishikori’s speed should outmatch him, but this is a match to watch. Nishikori in 4

Enjoy what you read? Check out all of LWOS’ complete coverage of the 2016 French Open here.

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