Another full slate of first-round matches at the 2015 French Open is on the horizon for Monday, with the best stars in the sport looking to continue the dominant trend set Sunday by the top favorites in play.
The first day of play at Roland Garros didn't produce many dramatic moments, with Steve Johnson's five-set upset of No. 26 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez serving as the only one of the 32 matches that even went to four sets. While it's foolish to assume that will happen again Monday, there's certainly plenty of reason to believe that upsets will be at a premium in the early rounds.
We'll have to wait until Tuesday before the top seeds are in action, but there's no shortage of marquee names taking to the clay courts throughout Monday. Let's take a look at all of the notable matchups and make predictions for the top ones.
2015 French Open Day 2 Schedule
|Men's Singles||Time (ET) / Match #|
|No. 3 Andy Murray vs. Facundo Arguello||4th Match|
|No. 4 Tomas Berdych vs. Yoshihito Nishioka||5 a.m.|
|No. 11 Feliciano Lopez vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili||5 a.m.|
|No. 12 Gilles Simon vs. Lucas Pouille||2nd Match|
|No. 13 Gael Monfils vs. Edouard Roger-Vasselin||3rd Match|
|No. 17 David Goffin vs. Filip Krajinovic||3rd Match|
|No. 18 Tommy Robredo vs. Andrey Golubev||3rd Match|
|No. 29 Nick Kyrgios vs. Denis Istomin||3rd Match|
|Women's Singles||Time (ET) / Match #|
|No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. Kaia Kanepi||3rd Match|
|No. 15 Venus Williams vs. Sloane Stephens||4th Match|
|No. 8 Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Monica Niculescu||5 a.m.|
|No. 11 Angelique Kerber vs. Timea Babos||2nd Match|
|No. 14 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Annika Beck||2nd Match|
|No. 12 Karolina Pliskova vs. Shuai Zhang||4th Match|
|No. 17 Sara Errani vs. Alison Riske||3rd Match|
|No. 20 Sabine Lisicki vs. Monica Puig||5 a.m.|
Complete schedule at RolandGarros.com.
|5 a.m. - 10 a.m.||French Open first round||ESPN2|
|10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.||French Open first round||Tennis Channel|
|12 p.m. - 3 p.m.||French Open first round||NBC|
Notable Day 2 Predictions
No. 3 Andy Murray vs. Facundo Arguello
He can worry about his tough draw later, but for now, Andy Murray will have to keep his focus straight ahead as he sets up to face Facundo Arguello in first-round action Monday.
While Murray has yet to start his tournament, his Argentine opponent already has four qualifying victories under his belt. That would seem to make fatigue a factor, but Arguello did well to win the last three in straight sets.
With that said, Arguello will be hard-pressed to give Murray his first clay-court defeat of the season. While the British star lost at least three matches on clay prior to each of his first seven visits to Roland Garros, he's yet to lose a clay-court match so far in 2015, as told by Sky Sports News:
Murray has never been pegged as a top contender at Roland Garros because of the consistent dominance of Rafael Nadal and others, but this season could signal a changing of the guard. There's no doubt that Murray is on the short list of favorites to win his first-ever French Open, which would put him just one Australian Open title away from completing the career Grand Slam.
Arguello has never faced Murray in his career, but that unfamiliarity should go the way of the favorite as he cruises to a straight-set win.
Prediction: Murray wins in straight sets
No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. Kaia Kanepi
Top-two seeds at any Grand Slam don't typically face as tough a Round 1 opponent as Maria Sharapova does Monday.
Kaia Kanepi of Estonia may not be at her best, but she's more than proven the ability to contend deep into Grand Slam events. She's made it to the quarterfinals in three of the four Grand Slams, including two such feats at Roland Garros in 2008 and 2012.
The Russian knows that she can't overlook what's ahead of her Monday, per Roland Garros on Twitter:
High expectations are bestowed upon Sharapova entering the French Open, where she won her second career title last year by toppling Simona Halep in the final. She's bound to face off against Halep again, should both get to the semifinals, but that's a long way off.
As for the immediate future, Sharapova shouldn't be tested. Although Kanepi has a track record of success at Roland Garros, she's a lowly 0-4 all-time against Sharapova. That includes two losses on clay, one of which came in the 2012 French Open quarterfinals.
Prediction: Sharapova wins in straight sets
No. 12 Gilles Simon vs. Lucas Pouille
All-French matchups typically dazzle the crowd at Roland Garros, thanks to the fact that no Frenchman has won the event since Yannick Noah in 1983. The tournament will be graced with two such matches on Monday's slate, but this one should take the cake.
French contenders are sprinkled among the seeds outside of the top 10, with Nos. 12 through 14 going to French players. But none ranks higher than 12th-seeded Gilles Simon, who has a tough early test against fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Simon took his 12th career ATP title in February by winning the Open 13 in Marseille, but he struggled in his first Grand Slam action of the year, falling in the third round to ninth-seeded David Ferrer. His form as of late isn't terrible, but injury troubles could make a difference Monday, as told by LetsTalkTennis.org:
Pouille has proved dangerous early in Grand Slam tournaments, taking another Frenchman to the full five sets in Melbourne before falling to Gael Monfils in the first round. He should be expected to do the same against Simon, who figures to be fighting his own battles with injury.
However, Pouille has only won five matches thus far in six tournaments played in 2015. His track record indicates that he will stick around and make life difficult for Simon, but emerging victorious won't be in the cards.
Prediction: Simon wins in five sets