Can Sinner, Ruud & Zverev Build On Fast Starts At Roland Garros?

  • Posted: Jun 01, 2023

Can Sinner, Ruud & Zverev Build On Fast Starts At Roland Garros?

Tiafoe takes on big-hitting Karatsev on Thursday in Paris

The Roland Garros second-round action draws to a close on Thursday as top names seek to continue their progress in Paris. Top 10 stars Jannik Sinner and Casper Ruud and two-time semi-finalist Alexander Zverev, who all enjoyed straight-sets opening wins, are among those in action in the bottom half of the singles draw. previews some of the second-round matchups to watch on the Day 5 schedule in Paris.

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[8] Jannik Sinner (ITA) vs. Daniel Altmaier (GER)

Sinner and Altmaier’s only previous ATP Head2Head meeting was a five-set thriller at the 2022 US Open. It was Sinner who prevailed on the hard courts of New York, and the eighth-seeded Italian with the big-hitting baseline game will feel confident of backing up that victory after he cruised past Alexandre Muller for the loss of just six games in the first round in Paris on Tuesday.

The World No. 79 Altmaier has his own reason to be confident, however. He reached his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final in Madrid in April and has pedigree at Roland Garros, where he reached the fourth round as a qualifier in 2020. Can the German rouse his best level to spring a big upset on Court Suzanne-Lenglen?

[4] Casper Ruud [NOR] vs. [Q] Giulio Zeppieri (ITA)

After an up-and-down season, Ruud appeared back to his best in his first-round rout of Elias Ymer in Paris. The 2022 finalist broke Ymer’s serve eight times in that clash, and he will look to use his booming forehand in particular to pile similar pressure on to the 21-year-old Giulio Zeppieri’s delivery on Thursday.

After coming through qualifying, Zeppieri beat Alexander Bublik for his maiden main draw win at a major to set his clash with Ruud. In tune with the conditions and chasing a fifth win in a row at Roland Garros, the Italian lefty will be full of confidence as he prepares for just his second meeting against a Top 10 opponent.

[22] Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. Alex Molcan (SVK)

Zverev chases a third-round spot for the seventh time in eight years when he meets Alex Molcan on Court Simonne-Mathieu. The German came through a big-serving battle against Lloyd Harris in his opening round, his first match at Roland Garros since he was forced to retire after rolling his ankle in his 2022 semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

It will be a maiden ATP Head2Head meeting between the 25-year-old Zverev and Molcan, who is bidding to reach the third round for the first time. The Slovakian is a particularly difficult challenge on clay, having reached three tour-level finals on the surface, and his high-class movement will ensure Zverev has to stay focused throughout if he wants to improve his 24-7 record at the clay-court major.

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Also In Action…

Before Zverev and Molcan take to Court Simonne-Mathieu, the 12th seed Frances Tiafoe will be in action against the in-form Aslan Karatsev. Tiafoe’s countryman, the 16th seed Tommy Paul, takes on Chilean Nicolas Jarry, who has lifted ATP 250 titles on clay already this year in Santiago and Geneva.

After Gael Monfils’ withdrawal from his second-round match against Holger Rune due to a left wrist injury, Arthur Rinderknech is the only home favourite left in the singles draw in Paris, where he takes on ninth seed Taylor Fritz. Grigor Dimitrov meets Emil Ruusuvuori while Australian Open quarter-finalist Jiri Lehecka faces Marcos Giron.

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