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2020 French Open: What to Watch on Wednesday

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Both players are offensive-minded, which on red clay can lead to over-hitting and unforced errors. Whichever player can keep himself in check is likely to be able to outlast his opponent.


Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, has not thrived on the French Open clay through her career. She was a semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2016, during arguably her best year on tour, but that was the only time she had previously made it past the round of 16. Now, with a relatively easy draw, she has yet to drop a set on the way to the quarterfinals.

Kvitova tends to enjoy faster surfaces that complement her fast serves and flattened groundstrokes. Although clay can slow down these shots, this year’s clay has allowed the ball to skid more than usual, much to Kvitova’s enjoyment.

Laura Siegemund, a doubles specialist who won the U.S. Open this year with her partner, Vera Zvonareva, is having a breakout performance at this year’s French Open. In 2016, she reached the third round of both hardcourt majors, but has never been past the second round of a major since. Siegemund has used her crafty, angled shots to trouble opponents, but her run will probably be put to bed by the powerful groundstrokes of Kvitova.


Novak Djokovic, the top seed, has waltzed to the French Open quarterfinal. Even as Karen Khachanov tried to overwhelm Djokovic in the round of 16, he seemed unflappable. Without having lost a set, Djokovic is now matching up against his last opponent from the U.S. Open, Pablo Carreño Busta.

Carreño Busta, the 17th seed, reached the semifinal of the U.S. Open and was the reluctant beneficiary when Djokovic was disqualified for hitting a tennis ball that inadvertently nailed a line judge in the throat.

Carreño Busta took full advantage of the disqualification, going on to beat Denis Shapavolov in five sets, and then barely losing to Alexander Zverev in five sets as well.

In the first set between Carreño Busta and Djokovic at the U.S. Open, it was Carreño Busta who seemed to be in control of the match. Now, on his favored surface of red clay, the Spaniard may have a chance to prove that he could have won that match on his own merits.

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