Before tennis fans get to watch the late-round showdowns between the top players in the world at the French Open, the marquee names have to navigate their way through the early traps.
Stanislas Wawrinka was unable to do so in his first match, but David Ferrer and Andy Murray prevailed, among others, on Day 3 at Roland Garros. There will be plenty of underdogs looking to seize the moment during Day 4 as well.
Let’s take a look at the television slate for Day 4, while keeping in mind that the entire French Open schedule can be found here.
|Wed., May 28||5 a.m. - 10 a.m.||Early-round action||ESPN2|
|Wed., May 28||10 a.m. - 7 p.m.||Early-round play||Tennis Channel|
Now that we know what is on the agenda, let’s dig into a couple of predictions for how the Day 4 action will unfold.
Novak Djokovic takes an early step toward a title
Novak Djokovic has tasted glory at every single Grand Slam event in tennis except the French Open, but that is bound to change in 2014.
However, before he dreams of becoming only the eighth man to accomplish the career Grand Slam, he has to beat Jeremy Chardy in this early matchup. Still, we are talking about arguably the top tennis player in the world right now who already has three titles under his belt in the 2014 season.
Chardy, on the other hand, is only 17-12 on the season and is simply overmatched against Djokovic.
How far will Novak Djokovic advance at the 2014 French Open?
Djokovic lost in the French Open semifinals in 2011 to Roger Federer, the French Open finals in 2012 to Rafael Nadal and the 2013 semifinals to Nadal once again. All three of those heartbreaking matches were winnable at certain stages, but untimely errors and critical points from his opponents ultimately cost Djokovic.
Thanks to that recent heartbreak, the six-time major winner will bring laser-like focus to every French Open match this time around, including this one. After all, he will only get to extend his winning streak against Nadal to five if he makes it to the match.
With the momentum he has on his side from an impressive start to the year and the head-to-head success against the French Open king Nadal, Djokovic will win the 2014 French Open.
What’s more, he has managed to stay loose in the midst of all this pressure, as ESPN pointed out:
Normally, ballboys take care of tennis players. Novak Djokovic flipped the script at Roland Garros. http://t.co/Bx96gJ3TJK— ESPN (@espn) May 27, 2014
Roger Federer easily dispatches Diego Sebastian Schwartzman
Roger Federer won the 2009 French Open and is certainly on the short list of contenders in 2014 as well.
He is sporting a 28-6 record thus far through the 2014 season, including one title in Dubai and a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, and he will look to continue that momentum against underdog youngster Diego Sebastian Schwartzman. The two have never played head-to-head, so there is a bit of unfamiliarity in place, but Federer is clearly the dominant player in this matchup and will play accordingly.
What’s more, Federer has some fresh legs after withdrawing from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, but it is his mental approach that he has focused on, via ATPWorldTour.com:
After Rome, it was more just staying in the rhythm and relaxing again before Paris, Halle and Wimbledon. It's an important stretch now for me, and I don't want to come into this tournament uninspired or tired. ... For me it's really about being fresh mentally more than anything at this point.
A mentally and physically fresh Federer is too much to handle for almost every single player on the tour, let alone a youngster without much experience under the bright lights.
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