The final major of the season, the French Open begins on Sunday. Here are five very compelling matches that should excite fans worldwide.
5) Sara Errani–ITA vs. Monica Puig–PUR–Sara Errani, the 2012 French Open finalist, is up against Monica Puig, the reigning Olympic champion. Errani has nine career titles, and was actually ranked first in the world eight years ago following her semifinal berth of the U.S. Open. Head-to-head Puig is 4-0 against Errani, including a first round win at Wimbledon back in 2013.
4) Tsvetana Pironkova–BUL vs. Andrea Petkovic–GER–In this potentially thrilling matchup, you have 2014 French Open semifinalist Andrea Petkovic up against the 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova. At the U.S. Open earlier this month, Pironkova made tennis headlines when she reached the quarterfinals in women’s singles as a mother.
3) (10) Roberto Bautista Agut–ESP vs. Richard Gasquet–FRA–Like Pironkova and Petkovic, this matchup features two players who have reached the semifinals of a major in the past. Bautista Agut made the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2019, while Gasquet reached the final four of Wimbledon in 2007 and 2015, and the U.S. Open in 2013. Head-to-head, Bautista Agut is 6-2 all-time against the Frenchman. However this will be their first meeting at a major and their first meeting on clay.
2) (3) Dominic Thiem–AUT vs. Marin Cilic–CRO–In one of two first round matches where we are seeing two grand slam champions, in this match we have two U.S. Open champions. The third seed, Dominic Thiem, the 2020 U.S. Open champion, is facing Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion. Thiem is 3-0 all-time against Cilic, with their last match not long ago. Thiem beat Cilic in the third round of the 2020 U.S. Open, 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
1) (16) Stanislas Wawrinka–SUI vs. Andy Murray–GB–Wawrinka and Murray have not just won majors in the past, they have won on multiple occasions. Murray has won the 2012 U.S, Open, as well as the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon. Wawrinka has won the Australian Open in 2014, the French Open in 2015, and the U.S, Open in 2016. Head to head, Murray has won 12 of their 20 matches.