World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev has mostly said the right things about the 2022 French Open, as the Russian has done his best to paint the image that he has a renewed energy on clay. However, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not that attitude holds up when the going gets tough, and he could run into some problems against world No. 56 Laslo Djere in his second-round match at Roland Garros. Djere is one of the true remaining dirtballers on the ATP Tour, which makes him a threat to compete whenever he hits the clay.

Medvedev’s struggles on clay—and more specifically at this event—are well documented. While the 26-year-old has enjoyed success at the highest level pretty much everywhere else, last year’s loss in the quarterfinals was Medvedev’s career-best result in this tournament. The Russian also happened to have a pretty easy draw to get to that point, coloring us skeptical that he’ll find a way to repeat a run like that on a surface he despises. And make no mistake: Medvedev will be using every expletive in the book to complain about the clay once his level drops a bit.


The Russian also comes into this match after having played only two matches on clay all season, and one of those outings was a straight-set loss to world No. 70 Richard Gasquet in Geneva last week. A loss like that really makes you wonder how Medvedev will fare against a player like Djere, who has already competed in 16 matches on the dirt this season. Djere is also 4-1 in his last five clay-court matches, and he just has the type of relentless style that could make things difficult on Medvedev. And if the crowd ends up pulling for Djere—which is a real possibility—it wouldn’t be surprising if the Russian were to really lose his cool.

For what it’s worth, this also isn’t the first meeting between these two on clay, as they met in Budapest all the way back in 2017. Djere won the first set of that match, 6-0, before Medvedev ended up retiring with the two tied at 5-5 in the second. That was obviously a long time ago, but it’s not like the Russian’s clay-court game has significantly improved since then. In fact, Medvedev has done nothing to really prove that he is passionate about playing better on this surface.

All in all, it’s just hard to see the Serbian not showing a little fight here. With that, we’re rolling with him to take at least one set, even with the odds not necessarily looking all that great. Djere knows how to take advantage of every nook and cranny on a clay court, which is what having loads of experience on one surface will do for you. He’ll use that to his advantage against Medvedev here.

The Pick: Djere +2.5 Sets (-185)