Court 13 | 9 a.m.
Casper Ruud vs. Tommy Paul
Casper Ruud, the son of the former player Christian Ruud, became the first Norwegian to win an ATP title, in February at the Argentina Open on clay. In the run-up to the French Open, he reached the semifinals at the Italian Open and the German Open, losing to Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev.
Ruud, 21, is a natural clay-court player, using his consistency to exhaust and draw errors out of his opponents. In the longer, five-set format of the French Open, these strengths are complemented even more. Even if an opponent can grab a set off Ruud, his ability to entrench deep in the court and absorb pressure will serve him well.
Tommy Paul, ranked 58th, had his best Grand Slam result at the Australian Open, reaching the third round before losing to Marton Fucsovics. In Melbourne, Paul defeated Grigor Dimitrov in five sets, but that defeat was soon forgotten as Dimitrov trounced Paul in their first-round meeting at the U.S. Open.
Paul, naturally a good hardcourt player, has struggled with consistency on his backhand side. The two-hander tends to feel somewhat stilted, especially when put in contrast with Paul’s smooth forehand strokes. It is likely that Ruud will target his backhand with a variety of shots to figure out which will extract the largest number of errors.
Court 14 | 5 a.m.
Sara Errani vs. Kiki Bertens
Kiki Bertens, the fifth seed, was a semifinalist at the 2016 French Open, but has failed to make it into the second week of competition in Paris since then. Her struggles on clay seem to have continued, as she lost in the first round at the Italian Open as well as a tournament in Strasbourg, France.
Bertens does have some variability in her game, which can help throw off opponents who would rather settle into long repetitive points. If she can settle herself and limit unforced errors, she may still be able to put together a run.
Sara Errani, a former French Open finalist, last played in the main draw of a Grand Slam event at the 2018 French Open. After failing a drug test in 2017 and subsequently having her ban retroactively extended in 2018, she struggled to return to the level of competition necessary to succeed on the WTA tour.