The 2019 French Open wraps up first round play on Tuesday. In this set of predictions we review matches featuring Alexander Zverev vs John Millman and Fabio Fognini vs Andreas Seppi. We also have predictions for you featuring Juan Martin del Potro and Gael Monfils matches. Jim Smith and Yesh Ginsburg are on hand for these predictions.
Fabio Fognini vs Andreas Seppi
Jim: After unexpectedly winning the biggest title of his career at the Monte Carlo Masters, the pressure is on for Fognini to put together a big French Open. Whether or not he will succeed in doing so is another matter, with the ninth seed not typically having thrived under pressure during his career. But he should at least have enough to best his countryman Seppi, whose powers have waned significantly in recent years.
Prediction: Fognini in 4
Yesh: This all-Italian matchup should go the way of Fognini. He’s playing better right now and won the biggest tournament of his life just a month ago. Seppi, meanwhile, is less consistent than he used to be.
Prediction: Fognini in 3
Steve Johnson vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Jim: After a miserable start to the season, Johnson showed signs of life at the Lyon Open where he reached the quarterfinals. But he will face a formidable test in the shape of the impressively consistent Bautista Agut. Unlike many of his countrymen Bautista Agut isn’t at his best on the clay, but his flat forehand and athleticism ensures he is always difficult to beat. Most likely too difficult for Johnson.
Prediction: Bautista Agut in 4
Yesh: Steve Johnson has some power, but mostly relies on his consistency. That consistency has been absent recently, and Bautista Agut is just a little better than him at everything, especially on clay.
Prediction: Bautista Agut in 3
John Millman vs Alexander Zverev
Jim: It has not been a good season so far for Alexander Zverev, but the German got back to winning ways in Geneva, where he lifted his first title of the year. He will almost certainly be made to work hard by Millman, whose endeavour can never be questioned. But the Australian doesn’t have many weapons and is far more at home on a hard court.
Prediction: Zverev in 4
Yesh: Zverev had a much-needed strong week in Geneva last week. He shouldn’t be fatigued because of his Tuesday start in Paris. He’s struggled in Majors, though, and Millman has the solid enough serve to frustrate the young phenom.
Prediction: Zverev in 5
Blaz Rola vs Mikael Ymer
Jim: Hopes were once high that Ymer could restore the fortunes of Swedish tennis, but he has thus far rather failed to live up to such expectations. That said, he did impress in battling through the qualifying and now faces fellow qualifier Blaz Rola of Slovenia, who is making his debut in the main draw at Roland Garros. This looks like another close contest, but Rola looked the more assured man in qualifying and should be able to continue that into the main draw.
Prediction: Rola in 5
Yesh: This draw gives one man a real chance to make the second round of a Slam, something that’s been in short supply for both of their careers. Rola, the former Ohio State Buckeye standout, is probably more comfortable on clay.
Prediction: Rola in 4
Main Photo from Getty