French Open R4 previews and picks: Djokovic vs. Gasquet, Murray vs. Chardy

DjokerNovak Djokovic and Andy Murray will contest their fourth-round French Open matches on Monday. They are set for respective showdowns against Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Jeremy Chardy.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (20) Richard Gasquet

Djokovic and Gasquet will be meeting for the 12th time in their careers at the ATP level when they clash in round four of the French Open on Monday. The head-to-head series stands at 10-1 in favor of Djokovic, who has taken their only two prior clay-court encounters. He prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the same round at Roland Garros in 2011 after previously triumphing 7-6(7), 0-6, 6-1 in the 2007 Estoril final. The two competitors have not faced each other since the 2013 World Tour Finals, where Djokovic got the best of Gasquet 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 during round-robin action.

Aside from the fact that Djokovic has never won this event, there is not much to dislike about what he is bringing to the table. The top-ranked Serb is 38-2 for his 2015 campaign and is 25-0 in his last 25 matches. So far this fortnight he has defeated Jarkko Nieminen, Gilles Muller, and Thanasi Kokkinakis without surrendering a single set. Gasquet booked his spot in the last 16 by taking out Germain Gigounon, Carlos Berlocq (in five sets), and Kevin Anderson. The 21st-ranked Frenchman is a stellar 20-6 on the season. However, he is 0-4 against top 10 opposition this year and has not beaten anyone ranked better than 17th in the world.

Pick: Djokovic in 3 losing 11-13 games

(3) Andy Murray vs. Jeremy Chardy

Murray and Chardy will be squaring off for the eighth time in their careers on Monday. All but one of their encounters have gone Murray’s way, although they have only faced each other once on clay. That lone meeting on the slow stuff came just a few weeks ago in Rome, where the Scot cruised 6-4, 6-3. Chardy, who got the best of Murray at the 2012 Cincinnati Masters, has taken only one set off Murray in his six losses.

The Frenchman is through to the Roland Garros for just the second time in his career and first time since 2008. He advanced to this stage by ousting Michael Berrer, John Isner, and David Goffin. Chardy, who is a decent 14-8 on the season, has won nine of his last 10 sets since since dropping his opener to Berrer and not one of those nine has progressed to a tiebreaker. Murray is through to the last 16 following defeats of Facundo Arguello, Joao Sousa, and Nick Kyrgios. Once at his worst–by far–on clay, the world No. 3 is a perfect 13-0 with two titles on the red stuff this season. As their past history suggests, this is a bad matchup for Chardy that is made even worse given his opponent’s current form. The underdog will struggle to hit Murray off the court and the third seed should advance without too much trouble.

Pick: Murray in 3 losing 14-16 games

5 Comments on French Open R4 previews and picks: Djokovic vs. Gasquet, Murray vs. Chardy

  1. Yes, I think these picks are reasonable. I don’t see any surprises in these matches. Novak and Murray should get through in routine fashion.

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