French Open R2 previews and predictions: Murray vs. Klizan, Del Potro vs. Almagro

Top seed and 2016 runner-up Andy Murray will continue his French Open campaign against Martin Klizan on Thursday. The second day of second-round action also includes what could be a competitive contest between Juan Martin Del Potro and Nicolas Almagro.

(1) Andy Murray vs. Martin Klizan

Murray and Klizan will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they collide in round two of the French Open on Thursday. Their only previous encounter came last fall in Vienna, where Murray survived 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-0. The mercurial Klizan is no stranger to such roller-coaster rides and he endured another one on Tuesday at Roland Garros, where he controversially got the best of wild card Laurent Lokoli 7-6(4), 6-3, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4. Lokoli offered no handshake following what was Klizan’s fifth victory in his last three clay-court tournaments. The 50th-ranked Slovak is a mediocre 11-13 in 2017 but has at least managed to heat up somewhat since starting 1-4.

Murray’s opener featured a less significant mid-match wobble, as the world No. 1 eventually coasted past Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. The last two sets and certainly the overall victory were much-needed, and not just because Murray is defending 2016 runner-up points. This season has been a mighty struggle for the Scot, who is a mere 17-7 and an even 5-5 in his last 10 matches since capturing the Dubai title back in February. In his last two outings combined against Borna Coric and Fabio Fognini heading into the French Open, Murray took a total of 12 games–and lost 24 in his two straight-set losses. Clay gives Klizan a real chances of extending the top seed’s woes; perhaps even more than a chance.

Pick: Klizan in 5

Nicolas Almagro vs. (29) Juan Martin Del Potro

Neither a lack of form nor injuries have been problems for Del Potro in 2017, but his season has been an abbreviated one due to precautionary rest and the recent death of his grandfather. Tough early-round draws have also put a dent in the Argentine’s progress, as he is ranked lower (30th) than his current level would suggest. That being said, Del Potro is a solid 12-6 on the year and he delivered a stellar performance from start to finish in disposing of countryman Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday.

Up next for the 2009 U.S. Open champion is a fourth career ATP-level showdown against Almagro, who is a hopeless 0-3 in the head-to-head series and 0-6 in total sets. Del Potro picked up a pair of victories in 2013 and most recently prevailed 6-4, 6-3 at the indoor tournament in Stockholm last fall. Almagro evened his 2017 record at 9-9 when he defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(1) during first-round action at Roland Garros. The 69th-ranked Spaniard is always a force on clay, but nothing about his current form suggests he is ready to reverse the trend of his past failures against Del Potro.

Pick: Del Potro in 3

38 Comments on French Open R2 previews and predictions: Murray vs. Klizan, Del Potro vs. Almagro

    • I think Klizan blew it when he couldn’t serve it out. Andy should be able to do it in four.

  1. Murray wins as expected. 6-1 now on picks I disagreed with Ricky.
    Congrats to Me.
    (Commies to Ricky.)

    Pre-tournament differences from Ricky:

    1st rnd:
    GGL over Muller
    Robredo over Evans
    Fognini over Tiafoe
    Estrella “Dam” Burgos over Gabba Gabba
    Giraldo over Seppi
    Kyrgios over Kohls

    2nd rnd:
    Murray over Klizan


      • not a bad time to time. I am just hoping we have sunshine in week 2, esp the business end. The only scenario I see where Rafa can may be lose is if we have a cool, damp conditions and his opponent is playing one of their best matches ever and throwing everything (wawrinka for e.g.). Djokovic in rainy conditions can also be very very dangerous. Remember FO 2012 final?

        • I saw a replay of the 2012 final in the tennis channel last week. It was a mess when they had to play in the rainy and damp conditions until they stopped play.

          I hope that tomorrow is just one bad day. I hope that Rafa gets his match in before it pours. He’s scheduled to play the second match.

        • I think in cold damp conditions, Rafa should play more inside the court and tries to take the ball early to take away time (and space) from any big hitting opponent. He staying behind the baseline would allow big hitters to hit hard to wherever they want without missing much because of the heavier balls.

          Rafa would have learnt from his previous experiences playing on rainy days in heavy conditions on damp clay, I hope.

  2. Well so much for Klizan in five sets but it was very close though. Murray will however really need to up his game no doubt to have a chance against Del potro. Whatever happens it should be quite a match.

  3. Feel really bad for Almagro – especially since Delpo doesn’t seem to be totally ok either and Almagro had absolutely levelled the match. And suddenly it was the hobbled against the lame. Let’s see how Murray will fare against Delpo. My guess: he will pull off the win.

  4. My man Dolgo played some great tennis in that last set, but Stan the man was too good. Shades of 2015. He looks to be rolling into form just at the right time, as usual.

  5. Yeah, amazingly Wawa looks like he will peak again and at the right time…he is becoming a real contender…but he is still a cry baby no matter what…

Comments are closed.

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