Trivia: Since losing to Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinals, Rafael Nadal’s won 25 matches in a row here, and 74 of 77 sets. Name any of the three players who’ve won a set off him since then.
Three of the favorites for the 2020 Roland Garros title—Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Simona Halep—are among a packed line-up on Chatrier. Along with everyone else, they’ll be trying to reach Week 2 today.
Thiem is first up on Chatrier against Casper Ruud, the 2020 clay court win leader. Ruud already has 17 wins on clay this year, which is more than twice as many as Nadal and Thiem combined (four each).
Ruud’s trying to become the second Norwegian player ever, male or female, to reach the second week of a major, after… Ruud. Casper’s dad, Christian, is the only other Norwegian ever to reach a second week, getting to the fourth round of the 1997 Australian Open (losing to Goran Ivanisevic).
Nadal’s opponent, Stefano Travaglia, has never played Nadal, or any of the Big 3, or any Top 5 player. Playing someone of Nadal's caliber for the first time, and on his favorite court, may be the toughest assignment in tennis.
Alexander Zverev's third-round opponent, Marco Cecchinato, is much more dangerous after the first round of a major. This is only the second time Cecchinato has advanced past the first round of a major. The other time he got past the first round, he made it all the way to the semifinals here at Roland Garros in 2018 (falling to Thiem).
Cecchinato's other 12 main draw appearances at majors: 12 first-round losses.
Halep’s looking for revenge against Amanda Anisimova. In one of the biggest surprises on the women’s tour in 2019, a No. 51-ranked, 17-year-old Anisimova—who was playing her first major quarterfinal—took out the No. 3-ranked defending champion in the quarters here last year, 6-2, 6-4, in 68 minutes.
It was their only previous meeting—the rematch today will be on Chatrier, just like their first match.
Only 13 of the Top 32 women's seeds have reached the third round. It's the fewest amount of Top 32 women's seeds to reach the third round of a major since the introduction of 32 seeds at Wimbledon in 2001.
Only three of the eight women’s quarterfinalists from 2019 are still alive in the draw in 2020. Halep, Anisimova and Petra Martic are back in the third round this year, but Ashleigh Barty didn’t come to Paris, Madison Keys, Johanna Konta and Marketa Vondrousova all lost in the first round, and Sloane Stephens lost in the second round.
Six of the eight men’s quarterfinalists from 2019 are still in the 2020 draw. Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem, Zverev, Karen Khachanov and Stan Wawrinka are still in—Roger Federer didn’t play, and Kei Nishikori lost second round.
AMERICAN WATCH: Of the 32 Americans who started the tournament (13 men and 19 women), five have reached the third round (2 men and 3 women): Taylor Fritz, Sebastian Korda, Sofia Kenin, Anisimova and Danielle Collins.
Fritz, Korda and Anisimova play their third-round matches on Friday, Kenin and Collins on Saturday.
Yesterday’s Trivia: The player who lists in their ATP bio that their dream job is “lying on a beach” is Lloyd Harris, who played Matteo Berrettini on Thursday (the No. 8-ranked Italian won, 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-3).