Here is a look at some of the featured matches of day 4 at the French Open!
Lucas Pouille vs. Grigor Dimitrov: This match features two of the rising starts of the tennis world. Dimitrov has had a fantastic year that features a final in Brisbane and a win over Djokovic in Madrid. Pouille is a French youngster that had a solid win over American qualifier Alex Kuznetsov in the first round. Dimitrov defeated Falla in the first round. Both play similar games except Grigor has a little more variety than the Frenchman. But most Frenchman have the taste for flare, and Pouille is not an exception. He will hit big shots, but will he be able to outhit Dimitrov? I don’t think so. Not enough experience yet, but I like this kid in the future. Dimitrov in 4 entertaining sets.
Rafael Nadal vs. Martin Klizan: Nadal should have an easier time with Klizan in the second round than he did with Brands in the first round. Klizan beat the ageless Michael Russell in the first round when Russell retired. Nadal had a tricky encounter with Brands in the first round, dropping the first set. Klizan is a big lefty with some power and little movement. Ever since he beat Tsonga at the US Open last year, Klizan has been awful setting a 6 – 13 record on the year. Nadal should have no problems against him. Rafa in straights.
Fernando Verdasco vs. Janko Tipsarevic: Verdasco’s ranking has slipped in these past couple of weeks. But when I watched him play Ferrer in Rome and against Gicquel in the first round here, I saw glimpses of the old Verdasco. Its been a rough year for Tipsarevic who has had some poor losses these past couple of weeks, Verdasco’s backhand will be the key in this match. If he gets into too many rallies with Tipsarevic on the backhand side, he will be in trouble. But I look for Fernando to dictate with the forehand and pull off the upset. Verdasco in 4 sets.
Tommy Haas vs. Jack Sock: This should be a very interesting match with 2 contrasting style going up against each other. We have the 12 seed Tommy Haas, the variety man with the solid one hander. And then we have American youngster Jack Sock with the huge serve and forehand. Sock does present the type of game that could give Haas problems. He looked surprisingly comfortable in his first round against Garcia – Lopez. That being said, Lopez played an awful match but Jack took advantage of that and beat him to a pulp. This match will be an absolute grind for Haas. Sock has no chance of winning any backhand to backhand rallies. But if he can dictate with his forehand like he did in the first round, he will have a chance. I will take Haas in 5 based on experience and will wear down Sock with those backhand to backhand rallies.
John Isner vs. Ryan Harrison: There is a lot on the line for these 2 Americans. Both have had tough starts to the year and 3rd round appearance on their weakest surface would be a big boost for their confidence. There will be a lot of holding bc both have big serves. Harrison’s game is better for the surface with his grinding style. Isner likes the surface bc it give him more time to set up for his big shots. I was very impressed with Isner against Berlocq, who is a tricky player. He showed a lot more energy and emotion that I think will propel him through to the third round. Isner in 5.
Enjoy the tennis everybody!