Novak Djokovic is through to the fourth round of the French Open as he looks to defend his title but it feels like major improvements are going to have to be made by the No.2 seed if he has to have any chance in the seemingly inevitable semi final between he and his biggest rival Rafael Nadal. He plays another Spanish lefty on Sunday, taking on Albert Ramos-Vinolas. It will be their fourth meeting to date and Ramos-Vinolas will be looking for the first set against Djokovic, having gone 0-7 so far.
Making the final in Monte Carlo was the highlight of Ramos-Vinolas’ year to date, playing a major part in helping him into the top 20 for a career high of 17 earlier in the month. He carried a four match losing streak into the tournament, suggesting that the bubble had burst but it appears he has found some form again. He came back from 2 sets to 1 down against one of the home favourites Lucas Pouille, impressively dropping just 3 games in the final two sets against a deflated opponent.
Djokovic had looked much better in the earlier rounds, winning both in straight sets. However, he had a torrid time against Diego Schwartzman in the first half of his third round victory. He fell down 2-1 in sets as his opponent thrived under the conditions. The final two sets were overwhelmingly in Djokovic’s favour though with the only drama coming in a heated dispute between he and the umpire midway through the fourth set. “I’m glad that I have some positives to take from today’s match. I was mentally still, you know, strong and as calm as I could be, even though I was two sets to one down. I kept believing I could break his resistance. It was just too many unforced errors from myself.” he said post match.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets