French Open R2 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Dolgopolov, Kyrgios vs. Anderson

Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios will face former top 13 players when second-round action at Roland Garros continues on Thursday. Wawrinka is going up against Alexandr Dolgopolov, while Kyrgios is trying to withstand the big-serving Kevin Anderson.

(3) Stan Wawrinka vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov

Wawrinka and Dolgopolov will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the first time on clay when they clash in round two of the French Open on Thursday. Dolgopolov leads the head-to-head series 2-1, with wins in 2011 (Acapulco) and 2014 (Miami). Wawrinka’s lone victory came via a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 beatdown at the 2012 U.S. Open.

Speaking of beatdowns, neither man had any real trouble advancing on Tuesday. Wawrinka improved to 21-8 this season and 5-0 in his last five matches by taking care of qualifier Jozef Kovalik 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-3. Thus continues a much-needed–but brief–hot streak for the third-ranked Swiss, who lost three of his first five clay-court matches this spring before capturing last week’s Geneva title. Dolgopolov punched his ticket to the last 64 by beating Carlos Berlocq 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. The 89th-ranked Ukrainian is still just 10-9 this year, but that mark includes a title on the red clay of Buenos Aires and a quarterfinal performance one week later in Rio de Janeiro. Dolgopolov is always a question mark from a physical standpoint and Wawrinka is a former champion of this event (2015), so all clay-court signs point to a mostly routine win for the favorite.

Pick: Wawrinka in 3

(18) Nick Kyrgios vs. Kevin Anderson

“Questions” are exactly what Kyrgios admitted to heading into the French Open with, but any serious concerns were put to rest emphatically on Tuesday. That’s when the 19th-ranked Australian picked up just his third clay-court victory of the season and halted a two-match losing streak that included a Madrid blowout at the hands of eventual champion Rafael Nadal and a dreadful setback against Nicolas Kicker last week in Lyon. Philipp Kohlschreiber was the victim of Kyrgios’ turnaround, as the German went down 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 in just one hour and 51 minutes.

Up next for the 22-year-old on Thursday is a second career contest against Anderson, who won their only previous encounter 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 last fall in Chengdu. Anderson has dealt with injury issues of his own and those are the main reasons why he is toiling down at 56th in the world right now. The 6’8” South African is slowly making his way back in 2017, with a 10-9 record that features six main-draw victories during this clay-court swing (including a 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(3) defeat of Malek Jaziri on Tuesday). Right now, Kyrgios is a younger, slightly more powerful version of Anderson with more variety in his hit-or-miss game that was definitely “hit” throughout his first-rounder against Kohlschreiber.

Pick: Kyrgios in 4

13 Comments on French Open R2 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Dolgopolov, Kyrgios vs. Anderson

  1. NK plays at that level… he will come through. .. should be fun.
    .stanimal keeps his best for the majors some how

  2. Stan should get through in 3 sets. Even with that h2h advantage, Dolgo has not done much lately and doesn’t have the consistency to challenge Stan on clay. Stan looks to be working his way into decent form.

    Kyrgios seems to be looking better now. While Anderson has shown some signs of recovering his form finally, his think Kyrgios will have too much game.

    Kyrgios for the win in 3 sets.

  3. Would love to see the Dog pull off the upset, but I think Wawa is starting to feel it. Stan in 3. Hard know where Kyrgios is at, but he seems to be coming back from injury. Nick in 4.

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