Murray, Wawrinka face Czech threats: Five matches to watch out for on Day 2 of French Open

Paris: Rain wrought havoc with the first day of the French Open as play was abandoned on Sunday after a frustrating start to the year's second grand slam tournament.

Only 10 matches were completed of the 32 scheduled across eight courts.

With six matches suspended mid-way and 22 matches pending, Day 2 at Roland Garros has a packed schedule. Rain is also forecast for Monday, with the weather predicted to dry up as the week progresses. The organisers have a difficult task ahead, trying to squeeze in 52 matches on the second day.

Andy Murray of Great Britain during a practice session at French Open. Getty Images

Andy Murray of Great Britain during a practice session at French Open. Getty Images

Here's a look at some of the most exciting matches of the day:

Stan Wawrinka (3) v Lukas Rosol

First match, Court Phillipe-Chatrier

The defending champion comes to Paris after lifting a clay trophy in his hometown Geneva on Saturday. On his way to the title, he beat Czech Lukas Rosol in the semi-final in a tough three-setter, 6-2 4-6 6-3. On Tuesday the two clash again on the red dirt in Paris. The Swiss has never lost to Rosol in their past four meetings, and he would love to continue that trend. Rosol, who is famous for defeating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012, is currently ranked number 68 and will be looking to add another giant-killing to his mane.

Radek Stepanek (Q) v Andy Murray (2)

Fourth match, Court Phillipe-Chatrier

The world number two starts his campaign against 37-year-old Radek Stapanek. The Czech made his way through qualifying to book his spot in the main draw for the 13th time. Stepanek is one of the 51 men over the age of 30 in the main draw, a record for any Grand Slam beating the previous high of 41 at this year's Australian Open. Murray leads the head-to-head between them by 6-2, with his only losses being on grass. Stepanek is one of the game's more entertaining characters whose antics on court occasionally get under the skin of opponents. The Scot is riding a wave of confidence after his Rome Masters final win over Novak Djokovic, and this should be an interesting opening encounter for his quest of French Open.

Grigor Dimitorv v Viktor Troicki (22)

First match, Court 3

On this day last year, Dimitrov was ranked number 11 in the world while Troicki was at 33. A year later, the tables have reversed. The Serbian is now seeded at 22 while Dimitrov has slumped to 36 in the men's rankings. The 25-year-old Bulgarian leads their head-to-head 2-1, but Troicki won their most recent clash in third set tie-break at Sydney this year. Dimitrov has a poor record at Roland Garros, exiting in the first round in the last two years. What makes this match even more interesting is Dimitrov's recent comments where he claims he could lift the French Open trophy. This match will be a tough test for his lofty ambitions.

Agnieszka Radwanska (2) v Bojana Jovanovski

Third match, Philippe-Chatrier Court

Radwanska has steadily occupied the number two position in the WTA rankings but clay has long been her Kryptonite. Despite being a crafty player with an exquisite touch, she has always struggled at Roland Garros, and has reached the last eight only once in her nine appearances. The Pole plays her first match against Jovanovski, who has had a horrible season battling injuries. The Serbian is yet to win a single match in 2016. These two have only played once before, four years ago at this very same tournament. Back then, Radwanska dropped just one game and she could not have asked for a better first round to start off her French Open.

Elina Svitolina (18) v Sorana Cirstea (Q)

Fifth match, No.1 Court

Cirstea may have had to fight through qualification to enter the main draw, but the Romanian could trip a few of the higher-ranked players. Cirstea had a great week in Madrid, reaching the quarter-finals and has already notched up 36 wins this season. Svitolina meanwhile, has had a poor time on clay this year and we could see an upset in this women's clash. The two women have never played before, and the qualifier could turn out to be a handful for the 18th seed.


Published Date: May 23, 2016 02:57 pm | Updated Date: May 23, 2016 02:57 pm


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