French Open Day 5 Predictions Including David Goffin vs Frances Tiafoe

David Goffin French Open 2022
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Round 1 of the French Open progressed more or less as expected, until Gilles Simon squeaked in a huge upset over Pablo Carreno Busta in front of the home crowd. The New Big 3 all beat their opponents in straight sets, as they figure to be on a crash course for a nuclear explosion in the quarters and semis. Can anyone compete with them? Who will move on to Round 3? See our picks below, including Jannik Sinner vs Roberto Carballes Baena. Our panelists have predictions for every day 5 match.

ATP French Open Day 5 Predictions

Jannik Sinner vs Roberto Carballes Baena

Head-to-head: first meeting

Wesley Heilman: Carballes Baena squeaked past Oscar Otte in a five-set round one match, while Sinner dispatched Bjorn Fratangelo in three easy sets. Although Sinner is not known as a clay court player, he has played well on the surface this year, and has an 8-2 record at Roland Garros, with both his losses coming to Nadal. Carballes Baena has been a Challenger-level player in 2022, and the crispness and consistency of Sinner’s relentless attack should give him fits compared to Challenger competition. Sinner has played well all year, and has a decent record at Slams, whereas Carballes Baena has had a poor showing at the ATP level and an almost reverse career Slam record as the Italian. Sinner should cruise. Sinner in 3

Damian Kust: Roberto Carballes Baena is a very solid grinder, but he’s got very little in terms of attacking ability. It’s just not going to cut it against someone as powerful, but also as consistent as Jannik Sinner. It feels like the Spaniard just doesn’t have anything to hurt the youngster. Sinner in 3

Cristian Garin vs Ilya Ivashka

Head-to-head: first meeting

Wesley: Everything in this match points Garin’s way, except that I’m concerned about his complaints about shoulder pain earlier in the year. It doesn’t appear to have affected him as much recently, as he is playing fairly well, in the midst of a mediocre season overall. His experience and success on clay are much greater than Ivashka’s, who is primarily a hard court player (Ivashka moved past Benoit Paire in Round 1 on the back of the Frenchman’s maniacal 24 double faults). This should go the way of Garin, but the shoulder makes it less certain. Garin in 4

Damian: Cristian Garin was having a dreadful run until Rome, but now he’s actually playing well again. In his best days, the Chilean was simply destroying the fields at lower-tier ATP clay events. Ilya Ivashka isn’t a natural player on this surface and Garin should be more or less comfortable in this one. Garin in 4

Holger Rune vs Henri Laaksonen

Head-to-head: first meeting

Wesley: Holger Rune continues his push forward with an excellent win over Denis Shapovalov. The young Norwegian played controlled tennis, keeping his unforced errors to one third of his opponent’s (19 to 53). He is putting together a good clay season. Meanwhile, Henri Laaksonen’s win over Pedro Martinez in Round 1 comes as a surprise, as he has beaten no one but the struggling Benoit Paire (twice) on the tour this year. Martinez was his first win on clay. Rune and Laaksonen faced off twice last year in hard court Challengers, with Laaksonen taking both handily. But Rune is much improved since then, and should be able to hit through Laaksonen and move on. Rune in 3

Damian: Henri Laaksonen played his best match in months to dispatch Pedro Martinez, while Holger Rune was essentially a spectator as Denis Shapovalov just kept making unforced errors and have very little idea how to construct a rally. The fitness of the Dane is still in question if the match goes on for around three hours or more, but it really shouldn’t here as this is an extremely favorable draw. Rune in 3

David Goffin vs Frances Tiafoe

Head-to-head: Goffin 3-1 Tiafoe

Wesley: Goffin is starting to find his feet again. His comeback wasn’t improving at the start of the season, but he has picked up over the last couple months and has amassed an 11-4 record on clay this year. Tiafoe appears to be playing about the same as usual, but he hit his career high of 25 earlier this month. He also just picked up his first win at Roland Garros in seven tries; but that still makes for a quite bad history at the tournament. The H2H are all hard court matches, and I could see Goffin’s brand of careful and defensive tennis forcing even more errors from Tiafoe on clay than would happen on hard court. Tiafoe is playing well enough for me to think it will be competitive, but Goffin is still a bit of a wild card for me, and I almost want to pick this in five. Goffin in 4

Damian: David Goffin seems to have healed up the back injury that troubled him against Jenson Brooksby in Rome. He’s a much better baseliner than Frances Tiafoe, which matters a lot on slower courts. The Belgian should continue his renaissance of late and score another victory that would bring him closer and closer to returning to the top echelon of the game. Goffin in 4

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