Our panel for day 5 features Brett Margolies, Ryan Schick and Steen Kirby going through the matchups of the day including Pablo Cuevas looking to upset Kevin Anderson at the French Open.
Pablo Cuevas vs. Kevin Anderson
Steen: This is Cuevas best surface but Anderson is the better player and has done enough to suggest he’ll earn the result in this one, perhaps with surprising ease against the grinder. Anderson in 4
Ryan: One of the more interesting matchups of the day. Anderson a top-10 player with recent success at majors, but Cuevas the clay court specialist. Anderson’s huge serve will not be as lethal on the clay, and his movement may be called into question. However, Anderson is the better player and although Cuevas will grind, Anderson will prevail. Anderson in 5
Brett: I thought Kevin Anderson could potentially get upset in the first round, but he handled the veteran Paolo Lorenzi comfortably. Now he’ll face another player who excels on clay in Pablo Cuevas. They played a five-setter in New York at the US Open in 2014 with Anderson coming out on top, I think this will be the same result. Anderson in 5
Marton Fucsovics vs. Kyle Edmund
Steen: Fucsovics is in the form of his life, and both players won their opening matches with ease. I think Edmund will be fresher though and even on clay he has more of a ceiling here. Look for Kyle to live up to his abilities here. Edmund in 4
Ryan: Fucsovics is coming off of the best week of his life, winning the title in Geneva. Edmund has been inconsistent this season but has picked up his game on clay. Fucsovics will continue the momentum he has and try and reach the 4th round at a major for a second consecutive time. He has been the better player this season and it will show. Fucsovics in 4
Brett: Marton Fucsovics showed no signs of fatigue in his first-round win over Vasek Pospisil. The Hungarian entered the tournament after winning his first ATP event in Geneva. I think he’ll pull off the upset over British #1 Kyle Edmund. Fucsovics in 4
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs. Casper Ruud
Steen: Both players are on their best surface and this is the match of the day in my opinion. Ruud is a rising young gun and if he’s going to be a star soon, these are the kind of matches that are going to help him earn his stripes. Ramos is a reliable tour veteran but he’s never going to be elite. I’ll back the upset here. Ruud in 5
Ryan: This has the potential for an upset. Ruud is a teenager with an exciting game, but has been relegated mostly to challengers this season to pick up points. Ramos excels on clay, and will play consistent tennis and may challenge Ruud being a lefty. Their one previous meeting was a tight 7-6 6-4 win for Ramos in Barcelona, and this match should be similarly close with Ramos’ experience prevailing. Ramos in 4
Brett: Casper Ruud has had a nice run so far coming through qualifying and defeating Jordan Thompson in the first round. This will be his toughest test yet, but not the worst matchup for the Norwegian. I think his run will continue. Ruud in 5
Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Julien Benneteau
Steen: Despite his poor record on clay this year, JMDP has every chance to win this section and make a deep run in Paris. Benneteau is in the twilight of his career, and though he’s earned the empathy of many fans I doubt he has the form or the game to pull an upset here. Del Potro in 3
Ryan: Del Potro has slowed down this year once the season shifted to the clay, especially given his top form on the hard courts. He has also dealt with injuries, but appears to currently be fit. At 36, Benneteau is one of the oldest players in the draw and has not played a full schedule this season. Although clay is not his best surface, Delpo’s huge forehand will still be impact and prove to be too much for Benneteau.
Del Potro in 3
Brett: Juan Martin Del Potro’s start against Nicolas Mahut was a bit worrying, but he quickly recovered winning the last three sets comfortably. I expect this match to be similar to that. Benneteau will have his moments, but Del Potro should get through. Del Potro in 4
Elias Ymer vs. Fabio Fognini
Steen: Ymer hasn’t developed as quickly as some of his generational colleagues but he’s still great on clay and could threaten the talented but inconsistent Fognini here. Fabio deserves to be the favorite but he should get a stern test. Fognini in 4
Ryan: Elias Ymer has been a potential young breakout star for several years, but has never managed to reach the top-100. This presents him a chance, with Fognini’s mental game allowing him to often lose to weaker players. However, Fognini has been in great form on the clay, even beating Dominic Thiem a few weeks ago. Ymer will have to seize his chance if he gets it, but Fognini will most likely take care of business.
Fognini in 3
Brett: You never know what you’ll get with Fabio Fognini, but he looked focused in his first-round win over a talented clay court player in Pablo Andujar. His opponent Elias Ymer has come from qualifying and defeated Dudi Sela in the first round. This will be his toughest test yet; I don’t think Fognini will have any problems here. Fognini in 3