French Open Best of 5 Day 1 Including Lucas Pouille vs Daniil Medvedev

Sunday is the first day of play in Paris as the men’s singles main draw at Roland Garros gets underway. David Goffin, Grigor Dimitrov, and fan favorite Lucas Pouille are among the players in action on the opening day. Yesh Ginsburg, Steen Kirby, and Brett Margolies take you through the biggest matches and offer their predictions.

David Goffin vs Robin Haase

Yesh: David Goffin is one of the most consistent players currently on tour. He has absolutely earned his ranking and it still shocks me how often people count him out. Don’t underestimate Goffin. He’ll go deep here, and should easily dispatch his hard-hitting opponent. Goffin in 3

Steen: I don’t know what to make of Goffin, in theory he has a massive chance to leave his mark in Paris and go as far as, if not further than his best ever result here (quarters), but an eye injury was a major setback to his season and his consistency is a concern. Haase on the other hand has always had the talent, but has lacked the mentality to win big matches and make something more of his career. Goffin is the sensible choice so I’ll play it safe here. Goffin in 4

Brett: This is probably a little tougher than Goffin would’ve wanted to start the tournament. Haase is a little unpredictable and can beat anyone on any day. I think Goffin is going to get challenged right from the start, but in a best of five set match, he’ll have time to figure out a way to get past Haase.
Goffin in 4

Laslo Djere vs Martin Klizan

Yesh: This has the potential to be an interesting match, as neither player is particularly consistent. I do think that Klizan is the better player overall, though, so expect him to get through this. Klizan in 4

Steen: Klizan has better weapons and far more upside here. He played well enough in qualifying that I don’t see the Serbian journeyman Djere causing him too much trouble. Klizan in 3

Brett: Most of Djere’s success on tour has come on clay. The 22 year old Serbian hasn’t won a match at a slam in his career and is up against another player who is unpredictable in Klizan. Coming through qualifying is going to help Klizan here as he’ll be used to the conditions already. Klizan in 3

Nicolas Jarry vs Jared Donaldson

Yesh: As Americans go, Donaldson is not particularly awful on clay. He has slowly and methodically built his ranking up, but he has yet to have a real breakthrough tournament. I don’t expect that time to be this tournament, but he’ll at least make the second round. Donaldson in 3

Steen: Jarry on clay should be better than the up and comer Donaldson, Jarry could well build a promising career for himself built on results on this surface. Such a future should be coming soon, and perhaps will start at Roland Garros after he had a fantastic South American clay court season. Jarry in 3

Brett: If Nicolas Jarry can play the way he did during the “Golden Swing” he should have no problem here. Donaldson hasn’t had the best clay season winning only one match heading into Roland Garros. I like Jarry’s chances to win his first match at a slam tomorrow. Jarry in 4

Viktor Troicki vs Grigor Dimitrov

(Editor’s Note: Troicki withdrew from the tournament shortly before this match started, so Dimitrov faced Lucky Loser Mohamed Safwat instead.)
Yesh: Talk about a tricky first-round match. Troicki is a shell of his former self—he once almost beat Andy Murray at this very tournament. Dimitrov has struggled a bit recently, so if the Serbian can recapture some of his old magic we could see a tight match. Still, based on where they currently stand, Dimitrov should win easily. Dimitrov in 3

Steen: Troicki’s form is atrocious and he’s not fit, even with Dimitrov well off his best, I don’t see how Troicki’s game improves to the point he can challenge a top 5 player on clay in a slam. Dimitrov in 3

Brett: These two played a five-set match at Roland Garros in 2016 with Troicki getting the better of Dimitrov. Troicki isn’t the same player he used to be; his ranking has dropped to #89 and had to withdraw from Rome qualifying a few weeks ago with a back injury. Dimitrov should have no problem here. Dimitrov in 3

Lucas Pouille vs Daniil Medvedev

Yesh: If this match was on any surface other than clay, it would be a great one. Medvedev has been out of form recently, but he is always just one match away from finding his range. Pouille is an up-and-comer who can’t quite seem to join the level of the elite youngsters. Still, on clay this should be an easy victory for Pouille. Pouille in 4

Steen: I picked Pouille due to the home cooking factor but this match could go either way. The Frenchman has plenty of ability but he’s struggled lately. The only upside for him is Medvedev has been even worse as of late, particularly on clay. Pouille should drag himself over the line, though a deep tournament run is unlikely. Pouille in 4

Brett: All the pressure is on Pouille as he’s one of France’s best hopes on the men’s side this year. The crowd should play a big part in this match as Medvedev usually lets a lot get under his skin. Medvedev is also 1-9 in his last ten matches on clay. Pouille in 3

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