Popcorn matches: Day two

There are several must-see matches on day two of Roland-Garros. Here a close look at some of them.

Novak Djokovic practice Kids' Day 2019©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Novak Djokovic v Hubert Hurkacz

The world No.1 has history within his grasp once again, hoping to ignite his charge for a second career ‘Djokovic Slam’ on Monday when he faces Poland's Hurkacz.

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.

However, Hurkacz represents the opening hurdle and it’s a tall one. The towering world No.43 has taken his career to a new level in 2019, with standout victories over Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem.

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.

Kiki Bertens - Madrid 2019©A.Couvercelle/FFT

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.

*Find out how to follow all the Roland-Garros 2019 action on TV here.