French Open 2024 Day 1: Men's Predictions ft. Hubert Hurkacz vs Shintaro Mochizuki, Kei Nishikori vs Gabriel Diallo

2024 United Cup - Sydney: Day 9
Hubert Hurkacz will be in action on Day 1 of the French Open

With top-seeded players, Grand Slam champions, and former World No.1 players taking the center stage, the opening day of French Open 2024 is slated to have a huge opening. Top-seeded players like Hubert Hurkacz and former top-10 player Kei Nishikori will be in action on the men's side.

Reaching the fourth round is the best result for the Pole at Roland Garros in 2022, whereas the Japanese player has reached the tournament quarterfinals multiple times, the last of which came in 2019.

Without further ado, let's look at some of the matches that will shape the proceedings on court on the first day (May 26).

#1 Hubert Hurkacz vs Shintaro Mochizuki

Hurkacz hitting a forehand
Hurkacz hitting a forehand

The eight-seeded Hurkacz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Qualifier Shintaro Mochizuki. Hurcakz has been in fine form in 2024, especially on the clay. The Pole's one title in 2024 came on the same surface at the Estoril Open where he defeated Pedro Martinez in the final. The Pole also got a much-touted victory over Rafael Nadal in clay at the Italian Open.

On the other hand, Mochizuki won three matches in the qualifiers to make it to the main draw. The Japanese player mainly played in challenger tournaments in the build-up to Roland Garros. He played in the qualifiers at the Madrid Open but failed to make it to the main draw.

This is the first time the pair are meeting on the ATP Tour. Given the current form, Hurkacz should win this match easily.

Pick- Hurkacz in straight sets.

#2 Kei Nishikori vs Gabriel Diallo

2024 French Open - Previews
2024 French Open - Previews

Former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori is returning to the French Open after a long time on the sidelines. The Japanese player last played at the Miami Open where he lost to Sebastian Offner in the first round. Nishikori is yet to play on clay in the 2024 season.

On the other hand, Diallo has come to the main draw having won three consecutive matches in the qualifiers. The Canadian played at only one ATP event on the red dirt. Diallo could not make it to the main draw at the Houston Open.

This will be the first time the pair will face each other. Although Diallo has played three consecutive matches, coming into the encounter, the big-match experience should help Nishikori overcome the challenge.

Pick- Nishikori in four sets.

#3 Nicolas Jarry vs Corentin Moutet

Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2024 - Day Fourteen
Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2024 - Day Fourteen

Another interesting match of the day is between 16th seed Chilean Nicolas Jarry and local favorite Corentin Moutet. Jarry is coming on the heels of an impressive run to the finals at the Italian Open. He lost to Alexander Zverev in a closely contested match. Other than that, the Chilean's track record on clay has been good this season as he also made it to the final of the Argentina Open, losing to Facundo Diaz Acosta.

Moutet, on the other hand, managed to qualify for all three Masters 1000 events on clay before the French Open but won only one match in the main draw, beating Roman Safiullin at the Italian Open.

The pair have a head-to-head record of 1-1 with Moutet winning the last encounter at the Chile Open earlier this year. Based on his current form, however, Jarry should win the match.

Pick- Jarry in straight sets.

#4 Ugo Humbert vs Lorenzo Sonego

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships - Day 14
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships - Day 14

17th seed Ugo Humbert will take on Lorenzo Sonego on the opening day at French Open 2024. The Frenchman's best result on clay this year has been a run to the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters where he lost to Casper Ruud. He last played at the Lyon Open as the top seed but lost to Dominik Koepfer in the round of 16.

Sonego's best result on clay this season has been to the quarterfinals in Morocco, where he lost to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini. In the other clay-court tournaments leading up to the French Open, the Italian's form is not encouraging.

The head-to-head record between the duo is 3-2 in favor of Humbert, but Songeo leads 2-1 on clay. Considering the seeding, Humbert should win.

Prediction- Humbert in four sets.

#5 Richard Gasquet vs Borna Coric

2024 Australian Open - Day 3
2024 Australian Open - Day 3

Richard Gasquet's form over the last years has been declining as the once top-10 ranked Frenchman has struggled to make it to the main draw of the tournaments. Gasquet qualified for the main draw at the Madrid Open but lost to Lorenzo Sonego in the first round.

Coric on the other hand has not enjoyed much success in 2024 either. Early-round exits have been the norm for the Croatian in the tournaments preceding the Roland Garros.

The head-to-head record is tied at 1-1 with Coric winning the last encounter in Dubai in 2018. The form of both players is rusty, but Coric should prevail given Gasquet is in the latter stages of his career.

Pick- Coric in four sets.

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