Popcorn matches: Day two
There are several must-see matches on day two of Roland-Garros. Here a close look at some of them.
With the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open trophies etched with his name, the top seed has “extra motivation and incentive” to repeat his gladiatorial sweep of all four majors in 2015-16.
Djokovic will have to be on guard on Chatrier.
Kiki Bertens v Pauline Parmentier
How about this for a build-up. Semi-finals in Stuttgart, the Madrid trophy and a Rome semi-final too. Always a talented clay-court player and a dark horse for the title, Bertens must now be considered a true Roland-Garros champion contender.
The world No.4 will be feared across the draw however home charge Parmentier won their only previous WTA-level clash in Miami 2015.
The Frenchwoman thrives representing her nation’s colours in Fed Cup action and also chalked up a fourth round showing in Paris back in 2014. With the local ardent support on her side, this should be a captivating contest to start the day on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
Daniil Medvedev v Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Russia’s Medvedev is an awkward opponent with seamless power and unorthodox strokes. Something has clicked in 2019, the world No.14 blasted past Stefanos Tsitsipas and Djokovic back-to-back in Monte Carlo.
The 23-year-old’s movement is the most notable improvement, which catapulted Medvedev into the Barcelona final.
Two consecutive Roland-Garros first-round exits hang a cloud over Medvedev’s chances and standing in his way is the all-court versatility of Herbert.
The world No.42 is reigning champion in the men’s doubles on home soil. Can the Parisian crowd cheer on their countryman for a memorable win?
Serena Williams v Vitalia Diatchenko
Gone are the days when Serena Williams arrived at a tournament and was an immediate favourite.
A left knee injury has hampered preparations, which was evident with the American pictured in a wheelchair at Disneyland Paris this week.
Seeing how the three-time champion will start is simply box office.
World No.82 Diatchenko hasn’t won a Tour match on clay in 2019, but will take heart from the mystery surrounding Serena’s form.