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Frances Tiafoe vs Alexander Zverev French Open 2023 Preview and Prediction

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Alexander Zverev will get the night session spot for the second round running although this time it definitely feels more deserving with his match against Frances Tiafoe looking the pick of the men’s third round matches on Saturday. The head-to-head does make nice reading for the German with a 6-1 lead but Tiafoe is much improved in the two years since their last meeting.

Zverev hit 42 winners in a 6-4 6-2 6-1 thrashing of Alex Molcan in round two, a very impressive display against an opponent who looked troublesome on paper. The German is still struggling to find his best form since the ankle injury he picked up at this tournament last year and should he not match that semi final, a severe ratings plunge is on the cards. He would be ranked outside the top 50 with a loss in this one, something that is going to be damaging when it comes to the next two slams this year.

Tiafoe remains on the verge of the Top 10 and surely should make it at some point this year, especially if he picks up a few more wins here. The Houston winner has fought past two potentially tough unseeded opponents with the minimum of fuss, last beating Madrid semi finalist Aslan Karatsev in four sets. His performances on the more traditional clay surfaces of Rome and Paris have generally been far from great but he appears to be figuring things out this time round and has a career best here so far for his efforts.

There have been some five set thrillers throughout this tournament and this is the kind of match that screams five setter. Two men who are definitely extremely talented but often have mid-match dips. This should suit the player who is able to produce the better defensive performance of the two and that is likely to be an improving Zverev. The German’s all round game looked good against Molcan and if he can maintain a good level on serve, that will favour him in the latter stages.

Prediction – Alexander Zverev in five sets

Aaron Higgs
Aaron Higgs
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.

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