Five dangerous floaters to avoid in week one of the French Open
The 2019 French Open is in full swing and James Spencer is here to give you five dangerous floaters, including Gael Monfils and Fernando Verdasco, to avoid in the first week.
The Frenchman made the semi-finals of the Australian Open back in January and will be looking to do well on home soil at Roland Garros.
Pouille has performed well on all surfaces in the past, achieving a career-high of world No 10 last year.
In the first round he will face off against Italian Simone Bolelli, who might be a clay-court specialist but should be no match for Pouille with home support driving him on.
The world No 26 then has a straightforward path to the second week where anything is possible.
Another dangerous Frenchman who recently pushed Roger Federer all the way in Madrid squandering match points against the Swiss Maeastro. He has always been one of the most talented players on the Tour.
His career has often been beset by injuries so his form at this year’s French Open will depend very much on his fitness. When fully fit, Monfils is normally a strong performer on clay and hard-court.
Monfils begins his French Open campaign against Japan’s Taro Daniel and also has a smooth path to the second week of his home Grand Slam.
The Spaniard is one of the most potent players on the tour. Bautista-Agut has high endurance levels and plays a smart brand of tennis.
He has often been a thorn in Novak Djokovic’s side and has beaten the Serb twice this year, in Qatar and Miami, both in a tight three sets.
Such wins have shown how capable and talented the Spaniard is, but consistency has been his biggest issue. It is fair to say Bautista-Agut has underperformed thus far on the clay-court season.
He opens his Roland Garros against American Steve Johnson before potentially facing a tough third-round contest against either Fabio Fognini or Federico Delbonis.
If he can get through to the fourth-round though there is every chance he can make the quarter-finals and make life difficult for the higher seeds.
The wily old Spaniard, now 35, is still considered one of the best players outside of the Top 30.
He may well have been around a while but his sheer experience has kept him around and Verdasco often seems happy to play the underdog role.
As a lefty, his topspin forehand is arguably his biggest weapon as is his lefty serve.
Verdasco is an able competitor on all surfaces but clay is what he was brought up on in Spain and there’s no reason to suggest he can’t go deep into the French Open this time around.
The Argentine was famously the only player to stand in Rafael Nadal’s way of winning the 2017 French Open without dropping a set.
Schwartzman is a hustler on the court and he has shown his willingness to fight into the world’s Top 20. He is another player that is capable of an upset on his day and has often pushed the top guys all the way.
Schwartzman fought past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in round one to set up an all Argentinian clash against Leonardo Mayer. After that he could face Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber giving him a realistic possibility of testing himself against the higher seeds later on in the tournament.
Follow James Spencer on Twitter @JamesTennis17
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