Last Word On Tennis writers, Sam Barker, Filippo Janis Colombo and Niall Clarke tackle the first day of round three on the WTA side of the French Open. Defending champion Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams are both in action.
 Garbine Muguruza vs.  Yulia Putintseva
Sam: Is Garbine Muguruza playing her way back into form just at the right time? She has battled past Francesca Schiavone and Anett Kontaveit so far and you cannot make a case that Putintseva is better on clay than those two. Muguruza to emerge victorious.
Muguruza in 2
Filippo: Tough to predict since basically anything can happen. Last year’s champion faces last year’s quarter-finalist in a match that’s going to light up Philippe Chartrier. Putintseva’s tricky and solid game could actually suffer from Muguruza’s extremely powerful shots. Muguruza actually is going to dictate the match, with winner or unforced errors. I’m confident Putintseva could take a set, though taking the entire match would be actually more difficult.
Muguruza in 3
Niall: Putintseva is a tricky player who is a very feisty competitor, but I feel Muguruza has found a bit of form just in time here. I feel the Spaniard at her best is much better than the Kazakh, especially on clay, so I think Muguruza advances.
Muguruza in 2
 Timea Bacsinszky vs. Ons Jabeur
Sam: Two real hidden gems of the French Open so far this could be a captivating contest. Jabeur is a fun player to watch but Bacsinszky has been one of the stand out players. This might be a dark horse contender for match of the tournament.
Bacsinszky in 3
Filippo: Honestly, my expectations for this match are high as the sky. Jabeur’s game is pure joy to watch. Her dropshots, mixed together with Bacsinszky’s ones, ensure fun and entertainment. Jabeur eased past Cibulkova in the second round, though her consistency is not something you can rely on.
Bacsinszky in 2
Niall: Jabeur upset Cibulkova here in her last match, but I think Timea will be a little too solid for the Tunisian. Bacsinszky has a good record here, and I expect that to continue.
Bacsinszky in 2
 Venus Williams vs. Elise Mertens
Sam: Elise Mertens caused a big shock in the first round by upsetting Daria Gavrilova and certainly has the ability to trouble Venus Williams. Williams looked a little jaded against Wang and this one has the potential to be a big upset.
Mertens in 3
Filippo: Elise Mertens is one of the most in shape players. Furthermore she loves clay courts and stormed past Daria Gavrilova in the first round. This match is going to be an important prove for her. We’ll see whether she struggles against very top players or if she’s able to fight against them. Personally, I expect her to take at least a set, and in the distance she has more than a chance to prevail.
Mertens in 3
Niall: Mertens has come along nicely this year and is looking for a big signature win over Venus. I just feel that the American’s experience will be too much though, and though Mertens will make a good account of herself, Venus will advance.
Venus in 3
 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Cici Bellis
Sam: Caroline Wozniacki dished out a double bagel in round two but overconfidence could come into play off the back of that. Bellis’ upset of Bertens was particularly eye-catching and the confidence she is showing is far beyond her years. I back her to cause another one here.
Bellis in 3
Filippo: Funnily enough, CiCi Bellis owns a winning percentage at Roland Garros higher than Nadal’s; she is 100 per cent given this is her first appearance! She is definitely going to be galvanized by her win against last year’s semi-finalist Bertens. On the other side of the net Wozniacki has never loved clay courts and only once reached the quarter-finals in Paris back in 2010. After a double bagel against Francoise Abdanda, here comes her first real challenge.
Wozniacki in 3
Niall: Bellis was impressive in her last match, but so was Wozniacki who did not lose a game. I doubt it will be as easy for the Dane this time, Bellis is a much tougher test than Abanda. The American is in good form so I am going to back the upset.
Bellis in 3
Shelby Rogers vs.  Kristina Mladenovic
Sam: Despite looking confident in her second round match there are still question marks over Mladenovic’s fitness. Rogers took Roland Garros by storm last year and her big hitting could trouble Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman desperately wants this and that could be the deciding factor.
Mladenovic in 3
Filippo: Another match where the prediction is tough. On the one hand, last year’s quarter-finalist and clay-court lover Shelby Rogers. On the other side, crowd favourite Mladenovic, who actually has been suffering some injuries since her first round. The key to this match is going to be length. If it goes the distance, then Mladenovic’s body is likely to surrender and force her to play far from her best.
Rogers in 3
Niall: Kiki looked better against Errani than Brady. The pressure will be on Mladenovic to deliver, but for now I see her rising to the task and setting up the Muguruza fourth round clash.
Mladenovic in 2
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