Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Matches To Look Forward To On Thursday's Roland Garros Schedule

Rafael Nadal vs. Nicolas Almagro:  Almagro has played okay in 2015 following his injury layoff, but he shouldn't be able to trouble Nadal.  He's lost badly to Nadal twice this year, and it's hard to see what Almagro can do to make this one competitive.  But given the question marks surrounding Nadal, it will be interesting to see how he handles his fellow talented Spaniard.  Nadal likely would have had a tougher matchup against Alexander Dolgopolov had Dolgopolov beaten Almagro in the first round, but Nadal won't take Almagro lightly.  Beating Almagro handily would help boost Nadal's confidence, which is something Nadal has been uncharacteristically lacking for much of 2015.    

Borna Coric vs. Tommy Robredo:  The 33 year old Spaniard seems to be beginning his decline, and is just be 8-8 on the year.  However, he's never going to be an easy out at an important clay court tournament, and certainly won't want to get knocked out by an 18 year old.  Meanwhile, the 18 year old Coric is considered by many to be the most promising young player in the game (out of a very deep group).  He recently cracked the top 50, but is still a few years away from hitting his peak.  Coric should make it interesting and has a realistic shot of pulling the upset, but Robredo's experience should be enough to hold off the talented youngster. 

Madison Keys vs. Belinda Bencic:  This matchup features two potential stars on the WTA Tour who are trying to find some consistency.  Keys made a run to the Australian Open semifinals, but hasn't done much of note since.  Bencic is a former top junior who is trying to make her mark at the professional level.  Keys has more firepower and is the higher ranked player of the two, and she should get the win.  Their contrasts in style should make for an interesting matchup, and it could be one we'll be seeing a lot more of in the years to come.

Thanasi Kokkinakis vs. Bernard Tomic:  This is a matchup of two of the most promising young Australians in the game, and Tomic has already beaten the younger Kokkinakis twice this year.  Tomic entered Roland Garros on a 4 match losing streak (though one was by retirement and the other three all came in third-set tiebreaks), and is looking to turn his season around.  Kokkinakis just cracked the top 100, and will continue to rise up the rankings.  Tomic has the edge coming in, but don't be surprised if Kokkinakis pulls the upset. 


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