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Tennis

French Open Day 3 preview

(BPI/Imago/Icon Sportswire)

Day 2 Storylines:

— Men’s defending champion Stan Wawrinka squeaked into the second round with a close five-set win against Czech Lukas Rosol. Wawrinka has had an average clay season, but seemed to be hitting his stride with a title win in Geneva last week. Stay tuned to see if he can continue his run and beat some of his fellow top 10 players.

— Women’s fourth seed Garbiñe Muguruza survived a first-round scare against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Muguruza lost the first set and gave up a big lead in the third before finally pulling the match out. Muguruza is talented but has yet to reproduce the success of her Wimbledon final appearance last year—she aims to turn that around during this French Open.

— 23-year-old American Shelby Rogers upset women’s 17th seed Karolina Pliskova in three sets to move to the second round. 16th seed Sara Errani was also upset.

— Top seeds Kei Nishikori, Milos Ranoic and Simona Halep all advanced to the second round.

Day 3 Marquee Matches

Bernard Tomic (20) vs Brian Baker

Tomic is the clear favorite, but Baker can surprise. Fans may remember Baker from four years ago when he followed a shocking run to the Nice final with a fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon. Baker was a prodigious junior—he won the Orange Bowl and was a finalist at the French Open junior tournament—but has battled injuries for most of his career. Baker had to use a protected ranking to qualify for the tournament, but he is far better than his ranking shows. If there is a major upset waiting to happen on the men’s side, this is it.

Prediction: Baker for the major upset in five

Borna Coric vs Taylor Fritz

Coric and Fritz are two of the tour’s hottest young players. Fritz burst onto the scene early this season by making the final in Memphis where he lost to Kei Nishikori. Just 18, Fritz may be the greatest hope for American tennis to come. Fritz played a mix of Challenger tournaments and tour-level events, finding mixed results. Coric, however, had better results, reaching the final in Marrakech and the quarterfinals in Estoril. This is an even matchup that could go the distance. Regardless of the result, fans can be sure that the future of tennis is safe with these two players and their generation.

Prediction: Coric in five; experience triumphs

Angelique Kerber (3) vs Kiki Bertens

This is one of the more closely matched women’s first rounders. Bertens is ranked 58th in the world but has had recent success on clay—she won the title in Nuremberg last week after having to qualify for the main draw. Kerber is the defending Australian Open champion, but had a mixed clay season leading to the French, with a few first-round losses as well as a win in Stuttgart and a semifinal appearance in Charleston. Kerber should win, but this will be a more interesting match than it appears on paper.

Prediction: Kerber in three

French Open Day 3 preview
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