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Ricky’s pick for the Zverev vs. Dimitrov match on Day 9 at Roland Garros

Will it be a redemption story for Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros in 2023?

In last year’s French Open, Zverev advanced all the way to the semifinals and was playing a great match against Rafael Nadal before a terrible ankle turn derailed his tournament–and the entire rest of his season.

Zverev’s comeback this year has been a slow one in general, but he is showing signs of his former self this fortnight with defeats Lloyd Harris, Alex Molcan, and Frances Tiafoe while losing only one set to Tiafoe along the way to week two.

Up next for Zverev on Monday is a fifth encounter with Dimitrov. The head-to-head series stands at 3-1 in favor of the 26-year-old German, who most recently got the job done 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-3 at the 2021 Paris Masters. He also won their only previous clay-court tilt at the Rome Masters seven years ago via a 6-1, 6-4 scoreline.

However, Dimitrov cannot be discounted. He is coming off a runner-up effort in Geneva and so far at Roland Garros he has dismissed Timofey Skatov, Emil Ruusuvuori, and Daniel Altmaier in straight sets. Despite those quick matches, it’s hard to trust the 32-year-old Bulgarian from a physical standpoint in the latter stages of Grand Slams–especially after he endured a relatively long week in Geneva.

A resurgent Zverev is playing inspired tennis and will likely have the edge, albeit a slight one. This could be the best match of the entire fourth round.

Pick: Zverev in 5

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