French Open Day 1 Predictions Including Diego Schwartzman vs Andrey Kuznetsov

Diego Schwartzman Rome
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Grigor Dimitrov and Diego Schwartzman seek winning starts on day 1 of the French Open as they will open the proceedings in Paris. Our panelists Damian Kust and Steen Kirby offer their predictions. We have predictions for every day 1 match in Paris.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Marcos Giron

Damian Kust: Grigor Dimitrov was cruising towards a comfortable win against Marcos Giron here last year, before injuring his back. The American has improved on clay since then, but Dimitrov remains the favorite of this clash. Dimitrov in 4

Steen Kirby: Dimitrov was a semifinalist in Monte Carlo and hasn’t lost his first match in a clay court tournament all Spring, Giron scored a couple of wins in Rome as a lucky loser but has a poor record otherwise. Unless Dimitrov simply plays poorly, he clearly has the upper hand here. Dimitrov in 3

Borna Coric vs Carlos Taberner

Damian: Borna Coric has only one win since returning to the tour, but he’s been losing in three sets only. This is a matchup of two players who struggle to inject pace and lead the rallies. The Croat should be a bit more equipped to handle a situation like that, but it’s tight. Coric in 5

Steen: Coric has dropped some winnable matches in his return from injury and has just one win in 2022, Taberner had a decent run in Barcelona at home as a qualifier but hasn’t done much to inspire confidence in recent weeks either. Coric is the better player, but can he sustain a high level of play over five sets? I’ll say yes. Coric in 4

Diego Schwartzman vs Andrey Kuznetsov

Damian: Andrey Kuznetsov was one of the most shocking qualifiers, overcoming a terrible win/loss record on clay this year. It doesn’t feel like he’ll be able to compete against Diego Schwartzman though, especially if the Argentinian drags him into plenty of extended rallies. Schwartzman in 3

Steen: This pair split meetings, but they aren’t really on an equal basis anymore. Kuznetsov was a surprising qualifier and has been plying his trade on the ATP Challenger Tour with mixed success, Schwartzman has great results on clay including the final in Rio and Buenos Aires, and a semifinal in both Cordoba and Barcelona this season, plus a quarterfinal in Monte Carlo. I would enjoy seeing Kuznetsov back to his best tennis, but Schwartzman is heavily favored on this surface. Schwartzman in 3

Botic van De Zandschulp vs Pavel Kotov

Damian: The most impressive performer of the qualifying draw, it’s really hard to find a weak spot in Pavel Kotov’s game right now. He hasn’t played that much at this level though and he might struggle to find a huge weapon to hit through the court against an underrated mover in Botic van de Zandschulp. van de Zandschulp in 5

Steen: The 23 year old Kotov is quickly rising onto the ATP Tour level, van de Zandschulp is a player that also made a big leap up the rankings in the last year or so. A finalist in Munich and a quarterfinalist in Casablanca, he is playing well on clay despite his game seemingly being suited for faster surfaces. Kotov qualified after consecutive semifinals on the ATP Challenger Tour in preceding tournaments, his capable but I’m not confident of this matchup. van de Zandschulp in 4

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