French Open

Three to See, Roland Garros Day 3: Casper Ruud vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; Paula Badosa vs. Fiona Ferro; Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Lorenzo Musetti

May 23, 2022
French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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French Open

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FLASHBACK: When Tsonga beat Simon in Marseille this year

Casper Ruud vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

There have been greater players at Roland Garros over the last decade and a half, but no one stirred the crowd up, and let them down again, quite like Tsonga. One of my favorite tennis-watching memories came at the end of his 2012 quarterfinal loss to Novak Djokovic. Tsonga had match points, and when it was over, he hid his head under his towel as the Chatrier crowd chanted his name and eventually gave him a rousing send-off. Tsonga made the semifinals twice in Paris, but couldn’t get over the hump; in another era, one without the Big 3, he probably would have had his Yannick Noah moment. As it is, the fans in Chatrier will have one last chance to show their appreciation, when he plays what will likely be the final match of his career on Tuesday. Winner: Ruud

UPDATE:

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At his home major, Tsonga holds a career 28-12 mark.

At his home major, Tsonga holds a career 28-12 mark.

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Paula Badosa vs. Fiona Ferro

These are two players who have more talent than their results have recently shown. Badosa, despite her No. 3 seeding in Paris, hasn’t put together a blockbuster title run in 2022, the way it seemed she was destined to do after she win in Indian Wells last fall. Ferro, meanwhile, is ranked just 130th, more than 90 spots lower than her career high. Both played well in Paris last year: Badosa made the quarterfinals, while Ferro won a round and pushed Jen Brady deep into a third set. The Frenchwoman is an athlete and a shotmaker, and she should be buoyed by the home-country roar. But Badosa, who won their only meeting three years ago in Morocco, hits a bigger ball all around. Winner: Badosa

Badosa will look to avoid a slew of upsets that have led to half of the Top 6 seeds exiting over the first two days.

Badosa will look to avoid a slew of upsets that have led to half of the Top 6 seeds exiting over the first two days.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Lorenzo Musetti

Tuesday’s night session in Chatrier should make Paris’s style mavens happy. Tsitsipas and Musetti both employ a one-handed backhand, and use it to varied and dramatic effect. The Greek and the Italian have something not-quite-as-pleasing in common as well: Each of them was up two sets to love on Novak Djokovic at this tournament last year, and each of them lost. As for their head-to-head, Tsitsipas leads it 2-0; he should also be motivated by the fact that the three favorites to win this tournament, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Carlos Alcaraz, are all in the other half of the draw. Still, Musetti likes clay, and he did win three matches here in 2021. Winner: Tsitsipas