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Ricky’s picks for Day 2 of the French Open, including Sinner and Monfils

First-round action at the French Open continues on Monday, when Jannik Sinner and Gael Monfils are taking the court. They are facing respective showdowns with Chris Eubanks and Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Here are my previews and picks for two of Monday’s best matchups.

Chris Eubanks vs. (2) Jannik Sinner

When healthy, Sinner has been the best player on the ATP Tour dating back to last fall. Nonetheless, the 22-year-old Italian heads into Paris as a question mark due to a hip injury. He played in two clay-court events prior to Roland Garros and fell to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis of the Monte-Carlos before withdrawing from Madrid prior to the quarterfinals.

On the heels of his Madrid exit, there were reports by Italian media that Sinner would pull out of the French Open. Fast forward a week and that no longer is the case, as the world No. 2 is reportedly ready for his first-round match against Eubanks on Monday. Sinner won their only previous encounter in straight sets at the U.S. Open two years ago. If the second seed is close to 100 percent, there is no reason to expect anything different in this one. Eubanks was awesome on grass last summer, but he has cooled off in a major way since then and clay is the American’s worst surface.

Pick: Sinner in 3

Gael Monfils vs. Thiago Seyboth Wild

Monfils and Seyboth Wild will be squaring off for the second time in their careers. Their only previous meeting came on the clay courts of Lyon in 2022, when Monfils scored a 7-5, 6-4 victory. Both players made it to the Roland Garros second round last season–and they did so in memorable fashion. The Frenchman came back from 0-4, 30-40 down in the fifth set to outlast Sebastian Baez 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5, while Seyboth Wild stunned Daniil Medvedev 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Another thriller should be expected–one in which I’m giving Monfils a slight edge. One, he is playing at home; that can never be underestimated at Roland Garros, where the crowd is raucous. Two, he is still playing pretty well at 37 years old (ranked 37th in the world). Moreover, Seyboth Wild is just 12-14 for his 2024 campaign and an especially poor 8-9 on clay. Look for Monfils to treat the home fans to at least one more win in Paris.

Pick: Monfils in 5

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