In what should be an intriguing clay-court showdown at the French Open, world No. 66 Dusan Lajovic faces world No. 38 Sebastian Baez. This opening-round match-up features two players that come into this tournament after having had solid seasons on the dirt thus far. After beginning the year with a 2-5 record in his first seven clay-court matches, Lajovic has now won six of his last eight on this surface. Meanwhile, Baez won a title at Estoril back in early May, and he has won 21 of the 29 matches he has played on the dirt in 2022.
Not only has Lajovic won six of his last eight matches on clay, but one of those victories came over world No. 8 Casper Ruud. That’s a win that should have Lajovic feeling really good about his game, but Baez is probably even more confident coming into this one. The Argentinean lost a tough three-set match against world No. 11 Cameron Norrie in Lyon last week, but this clay season has been a smashing success for the 21-year-old. Baez has played a ton of matches on this surface, so he should be more comfortable than just about anybody at this event this week. And his gritty style of play will make him a tough out for anyone, especially considering he’s likely to win over the crowd with his relentlessness.