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Ricky’s Picks and Preview and for Day 6 at the French Open, Including Tsitsipas vs. Isner

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts during the 2nd round match against Pedro Martinez of Spain at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 02 June 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON



By Ricky Dimon

Third-round action at the 2021 French Open gets underway on Friday, when Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev will take the court. They are going up against John Isner, and Laslo Djere, respectively. Ricky previews those two matches and makes his predictions.

(5) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. John Isner

Tsitsipas and Isner will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers when they clash in round three of the French Open on Friday. The head-to-head series stands at 3-2 in favor of Tsitsipas, who has won three in a row at Isner’s expense–all in straight sets. Their most recent encounter was the biggest beatdown of all, with the Greek dominating 6-3, 6-2 earlier this season on the hard courts of Acapulco.

Clay should favor Tsitsipas even more. The world No. 5 came within one set of last year’s Roland Garros final and he has already captured 2021 titles in Monte-Carlo and Lyon. Tsitsipas also finished runner-up in Barcelona, where he had championship point against Rafael Nadal. So far this week Tsitsipas has eased past Jeremy Chardy and Pedro Martinez in straight sets, while Isner did not drop a set in victories over Sam Querrey and Filip Krajinovic. The 36-year-old American is always dangerous thanks to his serve, but Tsitsipas knows how to handle it and should therefore once again find success in this matchup.

Pick: Tsitsipas in 3

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts during the 2nd round match against Pedro Martinez of Spain at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 02 June 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON



(6) Alexander Zverev vs. Laslo Djere

Like Tsitsipas, Zverev appears to be a serious contender for the French Open title–especially being in the bottom half of the draw. The German is a two-time quarterfinalist at Roland Garros and his current clay-court swing includes a title in Madrid plus a quarterfinal showing in Rome. Zverev has won six sets in a row across his two matches this fortnight, first coming back from two sets down to beat Oscar Otte 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 and then defeating Roman Safiullin 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(1). 

Zverev and Djere also went head-to-head this year in Acapulco, where the world No. 6 won their first-ever meeting 6-4, 6-3. Djere is much better on clay than he is on hard courts, but he has still never been past the third round in Paris and he had previously advanced out of round one only once. Moreover, the 55th-ranked Serb needed nine total sets over seven hours and 58 minutes to get past Corentin Moutet and Miomir Kecmanovic earlier this week. All of that is bad news heading into a tough test with Zverev.

Pick: Zverev in 3

Alexander Zverev of Germany celebrates a winner during the 2nd round match against Roman Safiullin of Russia at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 02 June 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.