French Open 2019: Naomi Osaka v Katerina Siniakova is Saturday’s pick day seven’s popcorn matches
Day seven promises not to disappoint, and James Spencer is here to run you through the popcorn matches you’re not going to want to miss.
Naomi Osaka (1) vs Katerina Siniakova
The world number one has looked shaky so far in her opening two matches at the French Open. Slovakia’s Anna Karolína Schmiedlová bageled her 6-0 before Osaka fought back to win. And again, against Victoria Azarenka the Japanese star had to do it the hard way losing the first set before a gutsy second set propelled her to win in three sets.
Katerina Siniakova is no pushover. The Czech is still only 23-years-old and considered one of the bright prospects in the women’s game.
With Osaka looking far from her best, you wonder if this will be another three-set struggle or even an upset.
Fabio Fognini (9) vs Roberto Bautista-Agut (18)
The Italian has so far played a very solid French Open. Fognini saw off fellow countryman Andreas Seppi and Argentine Federico Delbonis, both in four sets in the previous rounds.
Meanwhile, Bautista-Agut is a grafter and makes you work for every point. He has enjoyed two wins over Novak Djokovic this year in Qatar and Miami, and will certainly relish the chance to take on Fognini.
Both players are arguably two of the best players outside the top 10 and it sure could be a five-set classic.
Simona Halep (3) vs Lesia Tsurenko (27)
The defending champion, like Osaka, has looked shaky in the previous two rounds. She needed three-sets to beat both Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic and also Magda Linette.
Tsurenko is a dangerous player and the 27th seed will know she has absolutely nothing to lose. We’re due another upset at the French Open and this might just be it.
Dominic Thiem (4) vs Pablo Cuevas
It was a close one between this match and the Juan Martin del Potro against Jordan Thompson encounter. However, Thiem and Cuevas are two skilled athletes on this surface. Both players enjoy sliding and playing on the dirt making this a potentially exciting clash.
Cuevas has been troubled by injuries of late but is slowly working his way back to full fitness. If he plays anywhere near his full potential, he could be a handful for Thiem.
The Austrian is likely to still be far too strong but the match-up still looks very promising.
Follow James Spencer on Twitter @JamesTennis17
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