Here are some thoughts and picks for Day Two of the 2023 French Open
Kayla Day vs. Kristina Mladenovic
One thing you should know about the current state of American player Kayla Day….is that she is being coached this week by former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash….and Cash is a great coach. Day worked her way through the qualifying rounds at Roland Garros is pumped full of confidence and good form. After a celebrated junior career capped with a win at the 2016 U.S. Open junior championships, Day has struggled as a pro, but may be ready for run now at age 23.
While Mladenovic is a blue-chip name in women’s tennis having been ranked as high as No. 10 in the world (No. 1 in doubles) and being a Roland Garros quarterfinalist in 2017, her singles ranking has dropped to No. 166 and her success now is almost exclusively in doubles. We are picking Mladenovic to win ….the doubles title at Roland Garros, but this day will belong to Day.
Arthur Fils vs. Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina
Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina (ADF) was a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros in 2021 and a tough out on clay. He’s had a hallmark win heading into Roland Garros by beating Holger Rune in Madrid. Fils is an 18-year-old sensation from France, ranked No. 68 and fresh off winning his first ATP singles title in Lyon on Saturday. He’s a trendy pick here based on his recent great play. However, we are going to go with the experience of ADF here. While Fils is in good form, often upstart players who win a tournament days before the start of a Grand Slam tournament often, believe it or not, have a hard time getting over the satisfaction of their recent accomplishment. Fils is on the rise, but he will rise at Roland Garros more in the future.
Diego Schwartzman vs. Bernabe Zapata Miralles
If you are playing a Spanish player with three names on clay, it usually means trouble. Bernabe Zapata Miralles is someone you don’t want to face in the first round at Roland Garros, even if he is seeded “last” at No. 32. Diego Schwartzman is now 30 years old and has seen his ranking drop to No. 95. His UTR is 15.17 vs. 15.44 for Zapata Miralles. That’s a pretty wide margin in pro tennis, so, despite the blue-chip name from Schwartzman, being a former world No. 8 and a semifinalist at Roland Garros just three years ago, with are going with BZM here.