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Three to See: Coco Gauff, 19, vs. Mirra Andreeva, 16; Taylor Fritz returns; Frances Tiafoe vs. Alexander Zverev
How will the three Americans fare? Our previews and picks of their matches.
Published Jun 02, 2023
WATCH: Taylor Fritz chats with Marion Bartolo after his win—but not for long
Coco Gauff vs. Mirra Andreeva
This third-round match, second up on Court Suzanne Lenglen, will pit the WTA’s latest prodigy against its 2019 version. That year, as a 15-year-old, Gauff broke through with main-draw wins at Wimbledon and the US Open. This spring, Andreeva, who just turned 16, has torn up the tour’s lower ranks, won two rounds in Madrid, and come out of qualifying to win two more in the main draw at Roland Garros.
Gauff has since gone on to greater things, reaching the Top 10 and the final in Paris last year. But facing a budding younger star is not something she’s had to do much yet. Now she’ll understand what someone like Naomi Osaka meant when she said she really didn’t want to lose to someone as young as Coco.
The American and the Czech have never played, but they’ll bring similar styles to the court. Both like to drive their two-handed backhands, both can run and defend, both can make plenty of balls. Andreeva should be able to hit freely, while Gauff should be motivated by the challenge, and by wanting to keep Andreeva below her on the totem pole for as long as possible. Winner: Gauff
Taylor Fritz vs. Francisco Cerundolo
The first meeting between the American and the Argentine already promised to be a high-quality, competitive affair. Both of these guys bring penetrating forehands, solid two-handed backhands, and a strong physical presence to the court. While Fritz is ranked 15 spots higher—No. 8 to No. 23—Cerundolo is trending upward, and he’s the more natural clay-courter.
But the interest in this match will now go beyond the tennis itself. It will be played in the same stadium where Fritz blatantly shushed the crowd after his win over France’s Arthur Rinderknech. How will he be treated two days later, in a match against a non-Frenchman? Will there be a grudge, and if so, what will Fritz do in response? Either way, his entrance will be a must-see moment. Winner: Fritz
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Alexander Zverev vs. Frances Tiafoe
The night-session audiences in Court Philippe Chatrier tend to sit quietly and wait to be entertained, so a little bit of showmanship goes a long way. Gael Monfils brought a lot of it earlier in the week, and we can count on Tiafoe to do his part on Saturday night.
The American will likely need all the help he can get. He’s 1-6 against Zverev, and his only win came six years ago on Cincinnati hard courts. In their most recent match, in Vienna in 2021, Zverev won in two sets.
But this is a different Tiafoe than the 2021 version. Now he’s the higher-ranked player—No. 12 to Zverev’s 27—and has made a Grand Slam semifinal. He’s done that by using his talents—the speed, the touch—more consistently and coherently. Zverev’s reactive style will give him a chance to show the night crowd what he’s got. Winner: Tiafoe