A sleepy Sunday in Paris this most certainly wasn’t! Ever since Roland Garros elected to start the tournament on a Sunday for the fans, the day itself, usually without the biggest of names and alot of empty seats has largely been forgettable.
With the exit of household name Dominic Thiem, former champ Garbine Muguruza and for some the 2nd favourite here Ons Jabeur – yesterday was something different. Now Thiem’s loss; his 11th straight defeat is no real shock sadly. The Austrian citing nerves is still very much finding his way back after surgery, but it was still a sense of loss that reportedly echoed through the grounds as often happens when a significant figure exits at any stage.
Strange then that when Jabeur succumbed to tricky Magda Lynettte in three topsy turvy but high quality sets, there was no such reaction around the grounds. The mercurial Tunisian and – Swiatek aside – the form player on clay this season was a semi-favourite here, and one should never discount Garbine Muguruza either, but the 2016 champ was up against Kanepi who we all know can beat anyone and regularly does at the majors – hence my ‘one to watch’ pick yesterday. Not quite a correct prediction, but I’ll take it.
No such shock in my other fixture of note yesterday as Fernandez defeated Mladenovic with relative ease, joining such company as Zverev, Alcaraz, Bencic, Gauff and Dimitrov who all recorded straightforward victories.
But there were marathon’s elsewhere as Sloane Stephens and Felix Auger-Alliassime both had to dig deep to prevail, but prevail they did.
Day 2 picks
Anisimova vs Osaka
Wawrinka vs Moutet
Noskova vs Raducanu
Harris vs Gasquet
Korda vs Millman
Basilashvili vs Cressy