French Open Saturday: Abrams picks 8 men's matches including Rublev vs Anderson, Tsitsipas vs Bedene, RBA vs PCB, Garin vs Khachanov, more
Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena serves against Canada's Denis Shapovalov in the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. AP Photo/Christophe Ena

French Open Saturday: Abrams picks 8 men's matches including Rublev vs Anderson, Tsitsipas vs Bedene, RBA vs PCB, Garin vs Khachanov, more

The action on clay starts at 5 am EDT.

2020 French Open

First Saturday Men’s Matches

1. Andrey Rublev over Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson’s serve is a real weapon, but not enough to overcome the all-court game of Andrey Rublev. This Russian moves on to the Round of 16.

2. Matteo Berrettini over Daniel Altmaier

22-year-old German Daniel Altmaier has had a terrific Roland Garros by getting to the third round without losing a set against Feli Lopez and compatriot Jan-Lennard Struff, two very tough competitors. But his dream tournament will come crashing down against the very talented Italian Matteo Berrettini, who is ranked #8 in the world.

3. Roberto Bautista Agut over Pablo Carreno Busta

When these two Spaniards play each other it’s for hollering rights in the homeland. RBA is the better player, but you never know, especially after PCB has cruised into the third round in Paris without losing a set. But RBA is also 6-0 in sets, so they’re both rolling. I like 10th ranked RBA over 18th ranked PCB because the guy rarely misses and really wants this one for more than just bragging rights.

4. Marton Fucsovics over Thiago Montero

Starting with his first-round upset of 4th-seeded Daniil Medvedev, Marton Fucsovics has been playing lights out. The only time these guys played the Hungarian (Fucsovics) seemed to have his way with the Brazilian (Montero), and I think that mastery will continue in this match.

5. Stefanos Tsitsipas over Aljaz Bedene

I like the Greek God in this match, although the only time these two played, last year on clay, Bedene came away with a straight set win. But Tsitsipas appears to be over his short patch of sketchy play, and Bedene hasn’t been tested yet in Roland Garros. This could take a while but I’d book a spot in the Round of 16 for Tsitsipas.

6. Cristian Garin over Karen Khachanov

Khachanov rarely ever wins important matches, and this seems important enough to lose. Garin is ranked 19th while Khachanov is 16th, so I expect the play to be extremely competitive and the best of the day with shotmaking from both sides. But when push comes to shove I like the Chilean to prevail because you can count on him to make fewer unforced errors than the mild-mannered Russian.

7. Grigor Dimitrov over Roberto Carballes Baena

RCB demolished American Stevie Johnson, giving up only two games in the whole match, but then got away with murder against Denis Shapovalov when a shot that would have put the Canadian one point from match point was incorrectly called long. Against Dimitrov, however, the Spaniard’s luck has run out. Dimitrov is 6-0 in sets in Paris, and although this will be competitive, Dimitrov is the better player and as long as the lines are called fairly, the 20th ranked Bulgarian should win.

Canada's Denis Shapovalov argues with the umpire over a line call in the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
Canada's Denis Shapovalov argues with the umpire over a line call in the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. AP Photo/Christophe Ena

8. Novak Djokovic over Daniel Elahi Galan

The 153rd ranked Daniel Elahi Galan, from Bogota, Colombia, has had the French Open of his life, rolling into the third round. But he hasn’t played anyone with the game of Nole, and I think we’ll find the world’s #1 player stop Galan in his tracks with nowhere to go. Watch this match and you’ll come away thinking that Djokovic is unbeatable. Let’s check back next weekend and see just how unbeatable the Serbian really is.

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