Roland Garros Daily Preview: The Round of 16 Concludes on Monday - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros Daily Preview: The Round of 16 Concludes on Monday

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Iga Swiatek this past week in Paris (twitter.com/rolandgarros)

The singles quarterfinals will be set after Monday’s action in Paris.

Through three rounds, Iga Swiatek has been dominant, dropping only eight games across six sets, with four of those sets featuring a score 6-0.  But on Day 9, she faces a red-hot Lesia Tsurenko, who has already defeated two other Major champions this fortnight in Barbora Krejcikova and Bianca Andreescu.

Monday’s matches also feature two WTA finalists from last season at Slams: Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur.  ATP action is headlined by what should be two extremely competitive matchups between seeded players.

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s four most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Monday’s play begins at 11:00am local time.


Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia (14) – 11:00am on Court Suzanne-Lenglen

Prior to this fortnight, Haddad Maia was 0-7 in the second round of Majors.  Her success outside the Majors had previously come on grass and hard courts, so this run on clay is a bit of a surprise.  Beatriz is now 20-11 this year on all surfaces, and won two consecutive three-setters to reach this stage for the first time in her career.

Sorribes Tormo was unfortunately part of a very controversial decision on Sunday, where her doubles opponent Miyu Kato was defaulted for unintentionally hitting a ball girl with a ball, and only after Sara and her partner Marie Bouzkova allegedly argued for the default to happen.  There’s been a huge backlash on social media regarding Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova’s behavior, which could easily impact her play on this day.  Sorribes Tormo won her first two singles matches in straight sets, before receiving a walkover in the last round from Elena Rybakina.  And Sara missed much of this season due to injury.

These players have split four previous meetings at all levels.  But on Monday, I favor the more aggressive game of Haddad Maia to prevail.


Holger Rune (6) vs. Francisco Cerundolo (23) – Second on Court Suzanne-Lenglen

Rune is now 29-10 on the year, and looking to repeat as a quarterfinalist in Paris.  It was also in this city where his biggest title to date occurred, when he won the Paris Masters last November by upsetting Novak Djokovic in the final. 

This is the farthest Cerundolo has ever advanced at a Major.  In fact, prior to 2023, he had never won a match at a Major.  But he is a huge threat on this surface, and came back from a set down to upset Taylor Fritz in the last round.

They have never played at tour level, but four years ago at a Challenger tournament on clay, Francisco prevailed in straight sets.  However, a young Holger wasn’t even ranked inside the top 1,000 at the time.  In 2023, Rune is a significant favorite to achieve his second Roland Garros quarterfinal.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Lesia Tsurenko – Third on Court Suzanne-Lenglen

As aforementioned, Swiatek has been in beatdown mode this fortnight.  Iga is 24-2 lifetime at the French Open, and vying for her third title within the last four years.  And after a slow start to this year by her high standard, she is now 31-6, and 15-2 on clay.

But Tsurenko is a dangerous fourth round draw.  She is 28-8 this year at all levels, and has not dropped a set this fortnight.  Her victories last week over Krejcikova and Andreescu were clinical.

Swiatek is 2-0 against Tsurenko, with both matches taking place within the past year on clay.  And both matches had the same score line: 6-2, 6-0.  While I expect a tighter contest on Monday given Lesia’s current level, Iga is still a heavy favorite.


Grigor Dimitrov (28) vs. Sascha Zverev (22) – Not Before 8:15pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Zverev may finally be rounding back into form a full year after the gruesome ankle injury he suffered here in Paris against Rafael Nadal.  He was just 17-14 this season before arriving in Paris, yet has only dropped one set thus far, which includes a strong four-set victory over 12th-seeded Frances Tiafoe.

Dimitrov has not dropped any sets through three matches.  And coming off his run to the final just a week ago in Geneva, he’s won six of his last seven contests.  This equals his best-ever result at Roland Garros, the only Major where he’s yet to reach a quarterfinal.

Zverev leads their head-to-head 3-1, and has taken their last three meetings, though only one of those occurred within the past seven years.  With Sascha’s confidence level growing match-by-match, I like his chances of winning on Monday.


Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Bernarda Pera vs. Ons Jabeur (7) – Jabeur is only 14-6 on the year, as she’s battled multiple leg injuries this season.  This is the only Major where she’s yet to advance beyond the fourth round.  Meanwhile, this is Pera’s first time in the fourth round of a Slam at the age of 28.  They have split two prior encounters at all levels.

Nicolas Jarry vs. Casper Ruud (4) – After a bad start to the year on hard courts, Ruud is now 14-5 on clay.  Jarry is 19-6 this season on clay, and is on an eight-match win streak, after taking the title in Geneva right before this tournament.  Nicolas beat Casper 7-5 in the third during that Geneva run, with Ruud claiming their only other meeting last season in Seoul on a hard court.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova vs. Coco Gauff (6) – Gauff has already twice come back from a set down in her first three matches.  Schmiedlova is yet to drop a set on the way to her deepest progression at a Major to date.  Last year in Madrid, Coco defeated Anna Karolina by a score of 6-0, 6-2.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry vs. Yoshihito Nishioka (27) – This is Nishioka’s second consecutive advancement to the second week of a Major, and he played 14 sets in the first week.  This is Etcheverry’s best ever Slam result, and he did not drop a set in the first week.  This is their first meeting.


Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

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World No.32 Davidovich Fokina Replaces Long-Time Coach With Verdasco

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Fernando Verdasco was spotted earlier this week briefly watching Ons Jabeur play at the French Open but his focus this year is on another player.

The former top 10 player has landed a new coaching job after being hired by compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Somebody who he once played a Tour-level doubles match alongside back in 2020. Fokina has opted to stop working with Jorge Aguirre, who has been his mentor since he was a child.

The change comes after what has been a mixed start to the season for Fokina who has only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of 11 tournaments played before the start of Roland Garros. His sole win over a top 20 player occurred at the start of 2024 when he beat Hubert Hurkacz at the United Cup.  

“I will be very brief. I have left it with Jorge (Aguirre) and I start with Verdasco, with whom I have had a good relationship for years. He has not officially retired, but I knew that he was training other players and it was time,” Fokina told reporters after beating Valentin Vacherot in the first round of the French Open.
“It was time to close a stage and start a new one. With his experience, Verdasco can help me a lot to face the games, to assume that pressure and tension of the competition.”

Verdasco has won seven ATP titles during his career and reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Australian Open. At this year’s Madrid Open, he briefly helped Jabeur whose main coach Issam Jellali was unable to attend the tournament. 

Fokina will next play Casper Ruud in Roland Garros.

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Roland Garros 2024: Casper Ruud Explains Geneva Decision, Martin Etcheverry Talks Roland Garros And Djokovic Influence

Two-time finalist Casper Ruud is into the second round with a straight sets win over Felipe Meligeni Alves.

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Casper Ruud has explained the decision behind playing in Geneva last week after he defeated Felipe Meligeni Alves 6-3 6-4 6-3.

The world number seven is into the second round after a straight sets win over the Brazilian qualifier.

Ruud has reached the final the past two occasions here having lost to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in those respective finals.

Now the Norwegian is targeting more success in Paris this year and spoke about his opening round performance after the match, “Yeah, I was honestly very happy. I think it was a good start,” Ruud stated in his press conference.

“I think Felipe is a dangerous player, and obviously I didn’t know him so well. So not easy to know what’s going to come out of his racquet. I think he was firing pretty good serves and forehands.

“Overall, I think it was a pretty high-quality match and happy to be through in straight sets. That’s just what I was kind of hoping and looking for. Yeah, I’m very happy to be through.”

Given Ruud’s history at Roland Garros, there would be no reason to suggest that the Norwegian would need to play his way into form.

However that’s exactly what he did in Geneva the week before Roland Garros as he won the title in Switzerland.

After his opening round match Ruud was asked about why he always plays in Geneva instead of practicing on-site in Paris, “No, I decide based on the fact that I enter the tournament, and with the purpose of going. But of course, if you do super well in Madrid and Rome and you play, let’s say, 10 matches or more within those two weeks or the two tournaments, maybe, depending on how your body feels, it’s kind of easier to skip it,” Ruud explained.

“But that wasn’t the case for me in Madrid and Rome. I played only four matches there. I lost early in Rome. If I didn’t play Geneva I would have had 17 or 18 days since I lost in Rome until starting in Roland Garros, which in my eyes, my feeling, is just a bit too much. For some players, they don’t think it’s too much. They don’t have a problem with it.

“But for me I like going into tournament kind of mode and feeling in the zone when you’re playing an official match. That’s why I like playing. It gives me kind of confidence and match feeling going into a Grand Slam, which is the Grand Slam that I personally feel like I have the most chances to do well in.”

Ruud will aim to continue his good run of form when he takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round.

Martin Etcheverry Speaks On Roland Garros And Djokovic Influence

Finally Tomas Martin Etcheverry defeated Arthur Cazaux in four sets to seal his place in the second round.

The Argentinian is a big Novak Djokovic fan and after the match spoke about his love for Roland Garros and has tipped Djokovic to win this year’s tournament, “I think it’s my favorite tournament since I was a child, and I always want to play here,” Martin Etcheverry explained.

“This is a moment of the year that I want to be here and try to play my best tennis because I want to get a good result here.

“Yeah, is he my idol, and he is the No. 1 of the world. I don’t know, like six years right now. Yeah, I always try to watch him, trying to improve the game. I always trying to saw him. Yeah, I think he’s going to be No. 1 a lot of time. I don’t know if they have a good year this year, but I think it’s Novak Djokovic. Maybe he can win this tournament.”

Martin Etcheverry will play another Frenchman in the form of Arthur Rinderknech in the second round with Ruud being the potential third round opponent.

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Grand Slam Quarter-Finalist Van De Zandschulp Pondering Retirement After French Open Exit

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image via https://x.com/Boticvdz/

Botic van de Zandschulp has revealed he is losing his passion for tennis and is considering retiring from the sport following his exit from the French Open on Monday.

The 29-year-old was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by Fabio Fognini, who eased his way to a 6-1, 6-1, 7-5, victory. It is the second Grand Slam in a row where he has fallen at the first hurdle with the 2022 Wimbledon championships being the last major event where he won back-to-back matches.   

“I don’t look forward to competitions at all anymore,” Zandschulp told Dutch media.
“I have been asking myself more and more lately whether I want to continue.
“You have to do work that you enjoy. Everyone has a bad day every now and then. But if there are too many, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to continue.” 

Zandschulp has been the top-ranked player in his country with his most notable achievement being a run to the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open. The former world No.22 is a two-time runner-up at the Munich Open but is yet to win an ATP Tour title. He has registered a total of six wins over top 10 players, including Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. 

However, recent difficulties on the Tour have left the Dutchman questioning if he wants to continue playing.  

“I like the training. Those are great days. But when I get up in the morning, I no longer look forward to the matches at all.” He commented.

Zandschulp’s remarks could be a reaction to his frustrating loss to Fognini. However, he confirmed that he has been considering retiring for a long time. 

“It was the worst match I have played in my life,” he said. 
“Of course, it is now fresh after the match. That plays a role in my mind, but the thoughts of quitting have been there for a long time. It is not an easy life as a tennis player. You really live your life, play thirty weeks a year and travel from pillar to post.
“If you don’t play, someone else will pass you by (in the rankings). That’s why I now play extra tournaments instead of charging myself at home.”

Zandschulp is currently ranked 102nd in the world and is scheduled to play in the French Open doubles event on Tuesday.

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