• Shock blues
Out of the 29 French people competing at the start, men and women combined, there are only seven left. Three of them are playing this Wednesday, and these are not necessarily those we expected at this stage. Apart Benoît Pair, Caroline garcia and Fiona Ferro, none is part of the Top 50. This Wednesday will be above all the occasion to see them savor their adventure.
Benjamin Bonzi, the only French qualifier this year, faces Jannik Sinner. For him, the big gap could hurt between his first game and this one. The Italian Sinner is one of the fit men on this (short) clay tour, and remains on a drop given to David Goffin to 1er tower. Just that. For Bonzi, there will be nothing to lose. It will be necessary to go there with open grave, without asking questions.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see either Hugo gaston to run into a rock in front of Yoshihito Nishioka, who will be able to ride his victory against Felix Auger-Aliassime. As for Bonzi, Gaston will have to savor the experience and show the general public what wood he uses. He is just 20 years old, and is part, with Harold Mayot, of the next generation of French men’s tennis. This is also Roland: a small window on the (French) tennis of tomorrow.
And then there is Pierre Hugues-Herbert. No one had seen him coming either. It must be said that the Alsatian has not won a single match in the main draw since the return from confinement. But Herbert’s ranking hides its true level a bit. A little over a year ago, the Frenchman was a solid Top 50. He is 29 years old, and could very well regain his level very quickly. Why not against Alexander Zverev this Wednesday, at the end of the program on the Philippe-Chatrier? With his play all in panache, made of serve-volleys in shambles, could very well disturb an Alexander Zverev still in search of sensations on clay.
• Romanian shock
Simona Halep, the big favorite of this 2020 edition, got rid of her first opponent in the first round (6-4, 6-0 against Sara Sorribes Tormo). It’s simple: since the start of the clay court season, Halep has won eleven out of eleven games, and lost just three sets. Will it take a compatriot to stop Simona Halep? In any case, this is the challenge that awaits the world number 2 this Wednesday since she faces Irina-Camelia Begu. The two players met barely a month ago in Prague, also on clay, for a 7-6 6-3 victory for Halep. Not an easy match therefore for the youngest of the Romanians. Begu has a real earthly profile.
• The aftermath of shock
Caroline Garcia will not have a break at this Roland Garros. After his first round feat against Anett Kontaveit, the Frenchwoman faces Aliaksandra Sasnovich this Wednesday, another player packed with talent. Belarusian was 30e at its highest in 2018, and most importantly, collects performances against members of the Top 10. Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Elina Svitolina or Petra kvitova have already fallen under his blows. It will therefore be anything but an easy match for the Ile-de-France, especially as she is usually not very comfortable digesting her exploits … The last one took place at the US Open, where she had released the number 1 seed Karolina Pliskova at 2e round … before losing in two dry sets in the next round against Jennifer brady (future semi-finalist).
• Shock of mothers
Tsvetana Pironkova-Serena Williams, Act II. Three weeks after their tussle at the US Open, the two players meet again at Roland Garros. The Bulgarian, who is resuming her career after a long break due to her motherhood, had been one of the great stories of the American Grand Slam. His match against star Serena Williams, also a mother, had fascinated the Americans. Williams emerged victorious. But the match had been tough and Pironkova had shown that she had something to embarrass Serena Williams. Will the outcome be the same at Roland Garros? At first glance, Serena Williams, former winner here, has more references on the surface. But Pironkova was surprisingly easy in the first round (6-3, 6-3 victory). And she is riding a beautiful wave of confidence. What gives the first big duel of this Roland-Garros for women?
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