Here is a look at the remaining fourth round matches on day 9 of the French!
Novak Djokovic vs. Phillip Kohlschreiber: Hard to pick against Novak after what he did to Dimitrov on Saturday. That was the best I have seen him play since he beat Nadal in Monte Carlo. If he plays anywhere near that level again, he will have no problems with the crafty German Kohlschreiber. Kohlschreiber has been playing well recently, but has not faced any real competition until now. I don’t see him beating Djokovic, let alone even troubling him. I think Kohlschreiber will play one solid set but Nole will win in straights anyways.
Rafael Nadal vs. Kei Nishikori: This is a very interesting match up between the speedy Japanese superstar and the dominant Spainaird. Nishikori is a better version of Fognini, whom Nadal did have issues with in the previous round. Nishikori looked very strong against Frenchman Beniot Paire. If Nadal starts slow again, Nishikori will make him pay for it. I think that will happen, but as the match goes on, Nadal will gain more confidence. I don’t believe that Nishikori has the belief to beat Nadal here at Roland Garros. Nishikori will start strong, but Nadal will pull it out in 5 tough sets.
Tommy Haas vs. Mikhail Youzhny: Big opportunity for both players aged over 30 years old. Haas is the oldest player in the draw at 35. That match against Isner was physically taxing though and I think it will catch up to him here. Youzhny has gotten a very solid draw having 2 unknowns in his first 2 matches and a worn down Tipsarevic in the third round whom he beat in straights. Haas will certainly not be fresh for this match. But then again, if Tommy Robredo can do it, why can’t Haas? Probably because Haas is 35 years old. As much as I love the heart and soul from this man, I think he runs out of gas and Youzhny ousts him in 4 sets.
Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Richard Gasquet:I call this, “The Beautiful Match.” These 2 men probably have the 2 best one handed backhands in the game and they will be on full display tomorrow. Both have looked very solid throughout so this has the makings to be an epic fourth round encounter. Gasquet will certainly have the crowd on his side although Stan has dealt with that before when he beat Tsonga in Paris in 2011. When I looked at the draw, I knew this would be the best of the fourth round matches. This match is honestly a toss up. If Wawrinka’s forehand is on, he will be tough to beat. He was also very impressive in his win over Jerzy Janowicz on Saturday but there some spots of mental breakdown that he cannot afford to have against Gasquet. The longer the match goes though, the better chance Stan will have because his fitness is much stronger than Gasquet’s. Ultimately, I see the Frenchy crowd being the difference and Gasquet will win in one of the best shot making matches of the tournament in 5 awesome sets.
And just a quick shout out to Joey because I know he will love this. Stefan Kozlov won his first round in the juniors so that’s a plus for American tennis for once. Noah Rubin won as well.
Enjoy the great day of tennis everyone!