Day 5 at the French Open wraps up the second round. As each player tries to move on to the Round of 32, the competition will only get more fierce. Day 5–Thursday–is full of great matches. Who will move on? We’re here to predict that for you. This set of matches features the battle of Grand Slam champions between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka. (We also have two other sets of predictions for you. One features Serena Williams vs Kurumi Nara, while the other headlines Amanda Anisimova vs Aryna Sabalenka.) Predicting this set of matches for you are Brett Margolies, Tracey Essex, and Jay Sandhu.
French Open Day 5 Women’s Predictions
Daria Kasatkina vs Monica Puig
Kasatkina has only one third round appearance on clay, which happened in Rome. The way I look at it is that the Russian’s clay court game is improving. Monica Puig is an amazing talent, but her clay court record has been hit or miss. Kasatkina can problem solve matches and I think that’s exactly what she’ll do up against Puig.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 2
Kasatkina has had a very poor year, but lately has improved slightly. Puig has been relatively inconsistent this year but has had a good clay court season and is playing slightly better than her opponent at the moment. Kasatkina leads the head to head 2-1, but all of their matches have been extremely close and I think Puig may cause an upset.
Prediction: Puig in 3
Monica Puig is playing some of her best tennis right now under coach Kamau Murray. Puig defeated Flipkins in straight sets while Kasatkina defeated qualifier Jasmine Paolini in straight sets as well. This match is about even, but I’d give a slight edge to Kasatkina who’s the better player on clay.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 3
Sofia Kenin vs Bianca Andreescu
Editor’s Note: Bianca Andreescu was forced to withdraw with injury before her match.
Both Andreescu and Kenin struggled to secure the opening match win. Both are rock solid returners which will lead them to numerous break points. But, both Kenin and Andreescu are struggling with their serves. I expect a lot of service breaks with a hold mixed in here and there. Andreescu lacks any clay court play, but she has the grit, power, and shot selection to end Kenin’s run.
Prediction: Andreescu in 3
Both players have had a breakthrough this year and are playing at similar levels. Although Andreescu has been injured for a long time, she fought hard in the first round and won her last match against Kenin quite easily, so I don’t expect this result to be any different.
Prediction: Andreescu in 2
It was good to see Bianca Andreescu make her clay debut after missing time with a shoulder injury. The Canadian defeated Bouzkova in a match that took two days to complete. I think Andreescu was able to shake off some of the rust in her win and will look better against a tougher opponent in Sofia Kenin. Andreescu wins, but it won’t be easy.
Prediction: Andreescu in 3
Danielle Collins vs Ashleigh Barty
Danielle Collins is one of the few American women remaining in Paris. She’s gritty, determined – probably one of the fiercest competitors around. Yet, it was Ashleigh Barty who ended the American’s run in Madrid. The Aussie is having a strong season and is playing well, even though clay is not her strongest surface. She’ll have enough variety disrupt the Collins game.
Prediction: Barty in 3
Both players aren’t very comfortable on clay, but Barty won their last meeting only a few weeks ago in three sets and is generally the better player. Barty’s variety will be too much for Collins, who can be rather wild, so I would favor the Aussie in this match.
Prediction: Barty in 2
I think this match might have upset alert written all over it. Barty has played a lot of tennis leading up to the French Open. She hasn’t been able to carry over her hard court success to the clay courts yet, and Danielle Collins looked as good as anyone in her first-round win over Tatjana Maria. Barty defeated Collins in three sets earlier this month in Madrid, but I think Collins gets revenge here.
Prediction: Collins in 2
Naomi Osaka vs Victoria Azarenka
If Victoria Azarenka brings in a high first-serve percentage, this will be an epic battle. You have an out-of-from and out-of-sorts Naomi Osaka who nearly lost in the first round to a much less capable player than Azarenka. But, even when down, you cannot count Osaka out. The World #1 simply finds a way to win, even when it’s not pretty.
Prediction: Osaka in 3
Osaka got lucky in her first round as Schmiedlova couldn’t quite close the match out. Azarenka is playing brilliantly at the moment and I don’t see Osaka beating her.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2
The potential Azarenka/Ostapenko winner vs Osaka Round 2 match was the first thing everybody noticed when the draw came out. Luckily for tennis fans, Osaka was able to come back defeating Schmiedlova after the Slovakian served for the match twice. Osaka is going to have to take her game to the next level if she wants to get past Azarenka. I think Azarenka gets through here in what should be one of the best matches of the tournament.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3
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Enjoy our Day 5 predictions? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.