French Open 2023 Day 1: Men's singles predictions ft. Karen Khachanov vs Constant Lestienne

Mutua Madrid Open - Day Ten
Karen Khachanov will be in action on the first day of the French Open.

The first day of men's singles action at the 2023 French Open on Sunday will feature 20 matches. Eight seeds, three qualifiers, five wildcards, and two lucky losers will be in action at the clay court Grand Slam.

This year's edition will mark the first time since 2004 that the 14-time champion Rafael Nadal will be absent. This is due to an injury, that he sustained at the Australian Open earlier this year. He hasn't played since then. Nevertheless, there won't be any shortage of star power.

Here's how the following four matches at the French Open on Sunday could pan out:

#1 Karen Khachanov (French Open eighth seed) vs Constant Lestienne

Constant Lestienne
Constant Lestienne

Eleventh-seed Karen Khachanov opens his French Open campaign against Frenchman Constant Lestienne.

The World No. 11 is 19-10 on the season and 17-6 at the tournament. Meanwhile, the 69th-ranked Lestienne has won only four of his 14 matches this year. He's making his Roland Garros debut.

This will be the pair's first meeting, but the experienced Khachanov should take the win.

Pick: Khachanov in four sets

#2 Maxime Cressy vs Sebastian Ofner

Maxime Cressy
Maxime Cressy

World No. 42 Maxime Cressy takes on qualifier Sebastian Ofner in his French Open opener.

Cressy is 7-12 on the season and is on an eight-match losing streak. He lost in the first round at Roland Garros last year. Meanwhile, World No. 118 Ofner lost his only tour match in 2023. Interestingly, he lost on his debut at the clay court Major last year.

This is another first-time matchup, but going by current form, Ofner could emerge victorious.

Pick: Ofner in five sets

#3 John Isner vs Nuno Borges

John Isner
John Isner

John Isner takes on Portugal's Nuno Borges in an all-unseeded French Open first-round clash.

World No. 89 Isner is 4-7 on the season, with all four wins coming during his run to the Dallas final. He's riding a five-match losing streak. The American has a 22-13 record at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, the 76th-ranked Borges is 4-9 on the season and will make his main draw debut at the clay court Major.

This is yet another first-time matchup. Considering Isner's wretched form this year, Borges should take the win.

Pick: Borges in five sets

#4 Lucas Pouille vs Jurij Rodionov

Lucas Pouille
Lucas Pouille

Qualifier Lucas Pouille takes on lucky loser Jurij Rodionov in the first round of the French Open.

The 670th-ranked Pouille will make his season debut after a long absence due to injury. He's 7-9 at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, World No. 134 Rodionov is 1-2 in 2023 and has a 1-1 record at the clay court Major.

This is yet another first-time matchup, but considering Pouille's long absence from the tour, Rodionov should emerge victorious.

Pick: Rodionov in straight sets

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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