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French Open 2020: Friday Schedule and Predictions for Roland Garros Bracket

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 1, 2020

Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates winning his second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Jack Sock of the U.S. at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

The first set of matches between seeded players at the 2020 French Open occurs Friday. 

Due to the amount of upsets in the men's and women's singles draw, there are only three ranked matchups taking place at Roland Garros on the first day of the third round. 

Two of them will be on Court Philippe-Chatrier, where Dominic Thiem will kick off the day's action against Casper Ruud. 

Simona Halep will attempt to avenge her 2019 French Open quarterfinal loss to Amanda Anisimova in the second match on the showcase court. 

Halep and Anisimova are two of eight women playing Friday who have won all four of the sets they have played at Roland Garros. 

No. 27 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova fits that category as well, but she will face a tough test on Court Suzanne-Lenglen against third-seeded Elina Svitolina in the other meeting of ranked players.

Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Kiki Bertens and Elise Mertens are among the seeds taking on unseeded players Friday. The full schedule of play can be found on RolandGarros.com.

             

Predictions

Simona Halep Avenges Last Year's Loss to Amanda Anisimova

Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Halep and Anisimova have been two of the most dominant players in the women's bracket over the first two rounds in Paris. 

The third-round foes combined to outscore opponents 48-15, so it may prove hard for either to earn an abundance of service breaks. 

Halep should be in a better position to beat Anisimova than she was a year ago. In 2019, she lost her first match at the final tune-up event in Rome before making it to the final eight at Roland Garros by beating a single seeded player. 

Since losing the Australian Open semifinal to Garbine Muguruza in January, Halep is on 17-match winning streak that includes a pair of tournament victories on clay in Prague and Rome. Seven of those 17 victories occurred in straight sets. 

Anisimova entered the French Open with a 4-4 record since the resumption of play. So far in France, she has done what was expected of her by winning two matches in straight sets over unseeded players. 

But the American has had trouble against women higher up in the world rankings. She suffered losses to Maria Sakkari and Dayana Yastremska at the U.S. Open and Italian Open, respectively, and fell to 54th-ranked Jil Teichmann in her first-round match at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. 

Although she is familiar with Halep's game, Anisimova may be at a disadvantage based off her form compared to the No. 1 seed. 

            

Dominic Thiem Cruises To Another 3-Set Victory

Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Thiem faces an intriguing riser in the men's game in Ruud. 

The No. 28 seed from Norway earned victories over Matteo Berrettini, Karen Khachanov and Fabio Fognini in the two warm-up tournaments on clay. 

Despite those impressive results, Ruud failed to take the next steps in Rome and Hamburg, where he lost to Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev, respectively, in straight sets in the semifinals. 

The 21-year-old is also coming off an inconsistent five-set win over Tommy Paul in which he lost two sets 1-6. 

In the second and fourth sets against the American, Ruud converted just 50 percent of his first-serve points and failed to earn a single break point. He responded to both set losses with victories, but he can't be that inconsistent in a match against the U.S. Open champion. 

In Thiem's second-round win over Jack Sock, he converted six of eight break-point chances, delivered eight aces, won 67 percent of first-serve points and 66 percent of second-serve points. 

If the 27-year-old displays consistency on serve and performs that well on second serve again, he could leave Ruud with few opportunities to break, which should lead to an easy victory.

             

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ATPTour.com, WTATennis.com and RolandGarros.com.

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