French Open R1 previews and predictions: Monfils vs. Brown, Kyrgios vs. Kohlschreiber

Some of the game’s great entertainers will be headlining the final day of first-round action at Roland Garros. A marquee matchup is pitting Gael Monfils against Dustin Brown, while Nick Kyrgios is getting things started against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday.

Dustin Brown vs. (15) Gael Monfils

Monfils and Brown will be going head-to-head for the first time in the careers when two of the game’s most entertaining players are sure to put on a show at the French Open on Tuesday. Even though Monfils is 28-10 lifetime at Roland Garros with one semifinal showing and three other quarterfinal performances, both players are question marks heading into this fortnight–as they often are thanks to their showmanship mentalities and often fragile physical statuses. Due to knee and Achilles’ issues, Monfils is an abbreviated 8-6 this season and 0-2 on clay. That is not what the 16th-ranked Frenchman could have envisioned after making a debut appearance in the World Tour Finals last year.

Brown is 0-3 on European clay in 2017 and 1-4 on the surface overall, with a win only at the expense of the now-retired Juan Monaco in Houston. The 76th-ranked German qualified last season and won a main-draw match for the first time in his career at Roland Garros, beating Dudi Sela in five sets before falling to Jack Sock. Brown will make this one both exciting and somewhat competitive, but in the end Monfils’ defense will force his opponent into too many extended baseline rallies on this surface.

Pick: Monfils in 4

Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (18) Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios can be put in the same boat as Monfils and Brown right now; now and just about all the time. Although the 19th-ranked Australian’s talent is off the charts, he is heading into Roland Garros having played sparingly of late. Due to a hip problem and the recent death of his grandfather, Kyrgios has contested only four clay-court matches. He reached the Madrid third round (lost to Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-1) and dropped his opener in Lyon to Nicolas Kicker.

Kohlschreiber is a mediocre 14-11 this year with a runner-up performance in Marrakech. But the 43rd-ranked German’s clay-court swing has taken a turn for the worse since then, with a 1-3 record following a straight-set setback at the hands of Grigor Dimitrov in the Madrid first round. The good news for Kohlschreiber is that Kyrgios appears to be less than 100 percent and ready to rest up for a surface that gives him a much better chance of doing real damage–grass.

Pick: Kohlschreiber in 5

12 Comments on French Open R1 previews and predictions: Monfils vs. Brown, Kyrgios vs. Kohlschreiber

  1. Really don’t want to see Kyrgios push it at Roland Garros; if he’s still sorting out losing his grandpa and has hip issues. Kohlschreiber in 3

    Monfils in 4.

  2. Monfils for the win in 4 sets in what should be an entertaining match.

    Kohls in 4 sets only because Kyrgios is dealing with the hip issue. He may still pull this out despite his issues. You never know.

  3. Dang that hip issue has to be a thing of the past or something because Kyrgios destroyed Kohl. That’s a quality win. Maybe Nick will actually make a run here. I would’ve had him going far if it weren’t for the injury. His clay court game is actually pretty solid.

  4. Great win by NK. Barely gave Kohl a look on serve, hit plenty of winners, movement looked pretty good. Still got a bit distracted though, he can’t help himself when it comes to arguing with officials.

  5. Based off of their first round performances, I would say Monfils and Kyrgios have very good chances of reaching the round of 16.

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