Damir Dzumhur vs. (2) Roger Federer
Federer and Dzumhur will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they clash in round three of the French Open on Friday. Needless to say it has already been an outstanding tournament for Dzumhur, who is through to the last 32 of a major for just the second time in his career (2014 Australian Open). The 88th-ranked Bosnian has capitalized on a favorable draw, getting a retirement from Mikhail Youzhny before beating Marcos Baghdatis in four sets.
This, of course, where a friendly road through Paris ends. An in-form Federer is 27-5 for his 2015 campaign following routine wins at Roland Garros over fellow veterans Alejandro Falla and Marcel Granollers. The world No. 2, who won this tournament in 2009, recently captured a title in Istanbul and finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in Rome. He should put a swift end to Dzumhur’s run.
Pick: Federer in 3 losing 8-10 games
(14) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Pablo Andujar
Tsonga has endured an injury-plagued 2014 campaign, but to say his fortnight in Paris has gotten off to a flying start would be an understatement. The crowd favorite has treated the French Open faithful to straight-set beatdowns of Christian Lindell and Dudi Sela. While Tsonga is still just 8-5 on the season, he seems reinvigorated on the big stage–especially after missing the Australian Open.
Next up for the world No. 15 on Friday is a second-ever meeting with Andujar. Their only previous encounter came two season ago on the hard courts of Shanghai, where Tsonga cruised 6-3, 6-2. It should be more of a fair fight on clay even though Tsonga has home-court advantage in France. Andujar caught a major break in his trek to the Roland Garros third round. The 42nd-ranked Spaniard trailed Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-2 in the fifth set on Wednesday evening and had no momentum of any kind, having already blown a two-set advantage. But play was suspended due to darkness and Andujar came back out on Thursday to promptly win four consecutive games. Tsonga will not be as generous as the proverbial tennis gods.
Pick: Tsonga in 3 with no tiebreakers