French Open 2019: Stan Wawrinka takes on Grigor Dimitrov in pick of popcorn matches
An exciting French Open Friday lies in store and James Spencer likes the look of Stan Wawrinka against Grigor Dimitrov, in particular, in his latest popcorn matches piece.
Stan Wawrinka (24) vs Grigor Dimitrov
In one of the most anticipated matches so far at this year’s French Open, Swiss three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka goes to head-to-head with two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov.
Wawrinka has won their past two meetings, in the first round at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, as he was unseeded and coming back from a long-term knee injury.
Since then Dimitrov’s form has continued to plummet, whilst Wawrinka gradually makes his way slowly back up the rankings. Dimitrov played some inspired tennis to see off former US Open champion Marin Cilic in five sets in the previous round. If he can emulate those heroics we could be in for some match.
Elina Svitolina (9) vs Garbine Muguruza (19)
A mouth-watering clash between the talented Ukrainian and the 2017 Wimbledon champion.
Both players are skilled operators on this surface and will fancy their chances of winning the title at Roland Garros with the women’s field wide open.
Whoever wins this match may certainly use that momentum to go far at this year’s tournament.
Belinda Bencic (15) vs Donna Vekic (23)
Ever since triumphing with compatriot Roger Federer for Switzerland at the 2019 Hopman Cup, we’ve seen Bencic play her best tennis a lot more consistently.
She won in Dubai a week before Federer did the same and Bencic is finally starting to come of age.
In her way is 22-year-old Croatian Donna Vekic, whose talent has been known for some time within women’s tennis. It will be fascinating to see who wins this battle of 22-year-olds. A match-up we may see for years to come at the top of the women’s game.
Rafael Nadal (2) vs David Goffin (27)
The Spaniard has looked ruthless in winning both of his opening two matches comfortably in straight sets. However, in the form of David Goffin, Nadal will have his first real test against a seeded player.
It was only two seasons ago everyone was talking about Goffin’s potential as being a potential French Open winner. He crashed into the advertising board and unfortunately had to withdraw after being in the form of his life.
The Belgian has since suffered a catalogue of injuries to slip from a high of seven in the world and 2017 London ATP Finals finalist to outside the top 40 at one stage.
Goffin will have missed these big matches and will no doubt be keen to put in a solid performance to show he can still compete with the best.
More from Tennis365:
Andy Murray lands Stan Wawrinka in French Open draw
Murray’s last match at Roland Garros was a semi-final against Wawrinka in 2017.
Liam Broady thanks Andy Murray after qualifying for French Open for first time
Broady defeated Australian Marc Polmans to qualify at a grand slam for the first time.
EXCLUSIVE: In conversation with the coach leading the LTA’s flourishing wheelchair tennis programme
We talk to LTA Technical Performance Coach Rob Cross
Novak Djokovic refuses French Open favourite tag: ‘If it’s Roland Garros, you bet on Rafael Nadal’
It’s still Rafa’s house, says Djokovic.
Dominic Thiem says ‘the pressure has now gone’ as he targets another Grand Slam crown
Austrian looking to ride momentum in Paris.
Novak Djokovic admits US Open ejection was tough mentally: ‘I experienced ups and downs’
World number one discusses Flushing Meadows fallout.
Benoit Paire allowed to play in Hamburg despite positive Covid-19 test
Rules in Germany meant Paire was deemed no longer to be infectious.
‘Simona Halep is going to be tough to beat at Roland Garros,’ admits Karolina Pliskova
Will conditions help Romanian?
Roger Federer ‘will need to rely on Dominic Thiem to keep his records,’ says French Open winner
Is Austrian Federer’s ‘best ally’?