Early this morning the draw for the ATP French Open 2023 was announced. Although Rafael Nadal will be absent due to injury, the draw nonetheless provides some scintillating matches from the get-go. Below, I will take you through first round matchups that are upset-worthy in my opinion.
ATP French Open 2023: Predicting First Round upsets
Felix Auger-Aliassime (10) vs. Fabio Fognini
In Fognini’s 15 French Open appearances, he is 11-4 in the first round.
The clay-court specialist has already notched two top 50 wins this year on clay against #36 Miomir Kecmanovic and #41 Andy Murray.
Given Aliassime’s abrupt exit earlier from the ATP Lyon, due to his shoulder injury, it is yet to be known what version we will see from the world’s #10 player.
If Aliassime struggles to hit his first serve, as he currently averages six double-faults per match on clay this year, he might be in for a long match with Fognini who is more than capable of pulling this off, given his success at this tournament.
With Fognini’s current momentum and Aliassime’s struggles on clay this year, this match is for Fognini’s taking.
Prediction: Fabio Fognini 6-4,3-6,7-5,6-2
Bernabe Zapata Miralles (32) vs. Diego Schwartzman
This has not been Diego Schwartzman’s year on clay. Up to date he is 2-9, a surprising record for someone who has made the fourth round of the French Open at least four times in his career.
Though, this might be his perfect opportunity to break his winless streak which has now reached five matches.
His opponent, Bernaba Zapata Miralles plays an eerily similar style and has emerged as one of the best returners within the last year, noted by his top 10 standing in both return rating as well as percentage of return games won.
In a matchup of two players with similar playing styles, I expect Schwartzman to find his rhythm and continue his success here at the French Open.