Home Sport 2021 French Open: What to Watch on Wednesday

2021 French Open: What to Watch on Wednesday

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How to watch: 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tennis Channel; streaming on Tennis Channel+.

Grand Slam tournaments often feature some first round upsets, but this year’s French Open has been particularly eventful in the half of the draw that plays its second-round games on Wednesday.

Pablo Andujar, who is 35 years old and has never reached the fourth round of the French Open, is trying to follow up his knockout of fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem in the first round. Naomi Osaka, who was seeded second, withdrew from the tournament after reaching an impasse with organizers about appearing at news conferences.

While there are plenty of stars still present in the tournament, the field has certainly widened for new challengers to make deep runs.

Here are some matches to keep an eye on.

Because of the number of matches cycling through the courts, the times for individual matchups are estimates and will fluctuate based on when earlier play is completed. All times are Eastern.

Court Phillipe-Chatrier | 3 p.m.

Daniil Medvedev vs. Tommy Paul

Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, secured his first French Open victory on Monday in his fifth appearance at the tournament. Medvedev has reached the final of two hardcourt Grand Slam events, but has struggled on clay. Although he pushed past Alexander Bublik in straight sets, it was not a particularly convincing performance.

Tommy Paul, ranked No. 52, won his first-round match in five sets. Paul, a vaunted youth prospect who won the Junior French Open in 2015, has not yet bloomed on the ATP Tour, only making it to the third round of a major event once. Paul’s main weakness is his two-handed backhand, which is incredibly stiff and mechanical compared with his powerful, fluid forehand strokes.

Paul will need to remain aggressive and try to unsettle Medvedev throughout their match to push for an upset, while Medvedev will clearly look to aim at Paul’s backhand when he needs to reset points and get himself back into winning positions.

Court 13 | 8 a.m.

Danielle Collins vs. Anhelina Kalinina

Danielle Collins, ranked No. 50, underwent surgery for endometriosis in the spring. Although she has not played a competitive match since March, Collins looked at ease in her first-round victory over Xiyu Wang. Although it took her three sets to win, Collins was consistent except on her first serve. With a few days of rest between matches, that will have been the focus of her practice sessions and a key to her advancing farther at Roland Garros.

Anhelina Kalinina, a qualifier, upset Angelique Kerber, the No. 26 seed and three time Grand Slam champion, in straight sets on Sunday. This is Kalinina’s third main draw appearance at a major event — her first on clay — and the young Ukrainian seems to be oozing confidence as she tries to reach the third round for the first time.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reached the semifinal at the French Open last year.Credit…Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Court Suzanne-Lenglen | 10 a.m.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Pedro Martinez

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fifth seed, has had a strong clay court season, winning the Monte Carlo Masters and Lyon Open and reaching the final of the Barcelona Open. Tsitsipas, 22, reached the semifinals of the French Open last year, and looks to be a favorite to reach the final this year, with both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the other half of the draw. Keeping focused and trying to be as efficient as possible will be Tsitsipas’s main goal throughout the early rounds.

Pedro Martinez, ranked No. 103, is a clay-court specialist. His first-round upset over Sebastian Korda, an American who had just won the Parma Challenger, was clinical, as Martinez needled away at Korda’s weaknesses and drew out 47 unforced errors. Although Martinez’s task is much harder for the second round, a similar strategy would be appropriate: he should try to unsettle Tsitsipas and coax out mistakes with long, arduous points.

Paula Badosa of Spain won the Serbia Open in preparation for Roland Garros. Credit…Yoan Valat/EPA, via Shutterstock

Court 6 | 8 a.m.

Paula Badosa vs. Danka Kovinic

It is quite rare for Grand Slam tournaments to have a player seeded No. 33. But Paula Bodasa received that designation when Alison Riske, the 27th seed, withdrew from the competition after the draw was announced last week. Bodasa filled in her spot in the draw but to avoid confusion about relative rankings, was formalized as the 33rd seed instead of every player being adjusted. Badosa, who won the Serbia Open in preparation for Roland Garros, should feel that a seeding is well deserved, especially after a fourth-round finish at the French Open last year.

Danka Kovinic has never been past the second round of a Grand Slam event in 15 previous main draw appearances. Kovinic reached the final of the Charleston Open on green clay after defeating several top players, and will be hopeful that her success earlier this year can help lead to an upset against the in-form Bodasa.

Here are a few more matches to keep an eye on.

Fabio Fognini vs. Marton Fucsovics; Court 14, 7 a.m.

Karen Khachanov vs. Kei Nishikori; Court Phillipe-Chatrier, 8 a.m.

Serena Williams vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu; Court Phillipe-Chatrier, 11 a.m.

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich; Court Suzanne-Lenglen, 1 p.m.