Panelists Predictions 2016 French Open Men's Quarterfinals Including Murray-Gasquet

Sunday’s play saw two of the four men’s quarterfinal matches set, as we have defending champion Stan Wawrinka facing off with the unseeded surprise Albert Ramos, and world #2 Andy Murray opposite the last French hope, a rejuvenated Richard Gasquet. Our panel of Steen Kirby, Yesh Ginsburg, and Manuel Traquete will break down the matches and offer their predictions.

Stan Wawrinka vs. Albert Ramos

Steen: Ramos has never defeated Wawrinka (0-6), and he has a loss to him on clay not that long ago. Wawrinka isn’t flawless but he’s improved since his five setter in the first round, and Ramos is not going to have the firepower to compete with his backhand. Ramos stunned an overly aggressive Milos Raonic in the previous round, but I doubt he can kill another giant in his career best slam showing. Wawrinka in 3 sets

Yesh: Ramos-Vinolas is having the tournament of his life, but he is in way over his head against the defending champion. Wawrinka has not looked like a Slam champion this tournament, but he doesn’t have to. He just has to get far enough and then turn it on–just like last year. Wawrinka in 4

Manuel: It’s safe to say this is the tournament of Ramos’s life no matter what happens in this match. His prospects of further success in this tournament aren’t the brightest though; as if a 0-6 record against the defending Roland Garros champion wasn’t enough of a bad omen, he lost 6-1 6-1 to Wawrinka in Geneva the week before the French Open.

Ramos is playing with house money at this point and that relative absence of pressure might spur him to put up a sterner challenge than anticipated, but it’s hard to imagine actually completing the upset. Wawrinka in 3

Andy Murray vs. Richard Gasquet

Steen: Murray leads Gasquet 2-1 on clay, and it’s split 1-1 at Roland Garros, thus this match should actually be closer than a lot of folks are expecting. Gasquet looks fitter and as effortless with his game as he’s looked in years. The French veteran looks to be enjoying life in Paris right now, and his great frame of mind and impeccable shotmaking should serve him well. By contrast, the moody Murray has muddled through to the quarterfinals without any dominant matches. Still he’s been improving since his early five setters, and I don’t trust Gasquet to be able to finish off what should be an amazing match. Murray in 5 

Yesh: These two played on the best tennis matches I’ve seen in my life in Wimbledon 2008, and the pair looks to be rounding into form again heading into this quarterfinal. Gasquet seems to have put it all together for this tournament. It could be that the only thing that can stop him is Djokovic in the final. Gasquet in 4

Manuel: Gasquet has a history of pushing Murray very hard but eventually faltering in the end, with the latest chapter in Paris last year, at the Bercy tournament where he led by a break in the deciding set. Can he buck that trend here? It’s certainly possible, there’s no doubt he has the game to beat Murray and he has looked far more impressive than the Scot so far at Roland Garros. Ultimately this might well be another case of close but no cigar for the Frenchman. Murray in 5

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