After some high-octane action on Day 4 of the 2013 French Open, it only figures to heat up on the red clay at Roland Garros moving forward.
On Wednesday, we saw Serena Williams and Roger Federer cruise to straight-set victories. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sara Errani also won in straight sets, while Frenchman Gael Monfils delighted the home crowd with a 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 victory over Ernests Gulbis.
Here's a look at the broadcasting schedule for Day 5 of the 2013 French Open, complete with my predictions for the top matches.
Where: Stade Roland Garros in Paris
When: Thursday, May 30
Watch: ESPN2 and Tennis Channel
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Schedule for Day 5
|Thursday, May 30||5 a.m.-10 a.m.||Second Round||ESPN2|
|Thursday, May 30||10 a.m.-7 p.m.||Second Round||Tennis|
Predictions for Thursday's Top Matches
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Guido Pella
Novak Djokovic hasn't had as dominant a campaign in 2013 as he did in 2011 and 2012. He also struggled a bit against world No. 58 David Goffin in the first round.
But 23-year-old Argentinian, Guido Pella, still has a lot to learn. He's gone 5-8 this year on the ATP Tour after making his debut last year at the U.S. Open.
Pella does have a win over world No. 12, Janko Tipsarevic, this year. Then again, Tipsarevic has been struggling mightily in 2013.
Don't expect this to be anything more than what it is at first glance: a great, battle-tested player versus an outclassed, young player.
Prediction: Djokovic 6-3, 6-2, 6-1
Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Martin Klizan
Rafael Nadal's victory over Daniel Brands in the first round wasn't as one-sided as I expected it would be, but the 26-year-old Spaniard ultimately got it done.
Nadal—a seven-time winner at Roland Garros—will face world No. 35 Martin Klizan on Thursday in the second round.
Klizan will likely suffer the same fate as Pella will against Djokovic. The 23-year-old is 6-13 on the year and he hasn't beaten anyone of significance. He battled back impressively against Michael Russell in the first round, but you have to remember, Russell is ranked No. 99 in the world.
Klizan is simply outclassed here. Chalk it up to a lesson for the youngster.
Prediction: Nadal 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
Eugenie Bouchard vs. Maria Sharapova (3)
It's hard to give 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard much of a chance against Maria Sharapova.
Not only is Sharapova 30-4 with two singles titles on the WTA Tour this year, she defeated Bouchard at the Sony Open in March, 6-2, 6-0.
Bouchard did upset Samantha Stosur in Charleston this year (6-1, 2-0). Then again, Stosur was forced to retire with a calf injury.
The fact remains: As long as Sharapova isn't facing Serena Williams, she's usually pretty dominant, as evidenced by her 6-2, 6-1 win over Su-Wei Hsieh in the first round.
Prediction: Sharapova 6-2, 6-2