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Roland Garros: Frances Tiafoe vs Jan-Lennard Struff preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Frances Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 28 Sep 2020, 11:10 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Frances Tiafoe vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Date: 28 September 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: First round (Round of 128)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 


Frances Tiafoe vs Jan-Lennard Struff preview

Unseeded American Frances Tiafoe will face Germany's No. 30 seed Jan-Lennard Struff in a spicy first-round encounter at the 2020 French Open on Monday.

Tiafoe had a dismal start to his 2020, winning only two matches out of eight until the US Open. But the 22-year-old got back to winning ways at his home Grand Slam, reaching the Round of 16 - where he fell to Daniil Medvedev.

Having missed Rome, Tiafoe played at the Forli Challenger last week to prepare for the French Open. He lost to eventual champion Lorenzo Musetti in the Round of 16 there.

The American has never won a main draw match at Roland Garros in four appearances, and has a dismal 37% tour win record on clay.

Jan-Lennard Struff, on the other hand, experienced something of a purple patch after returning from the COVID break. He reached the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open and the third round at the US Open, losing to Novak Djokovic on both occasions.

Jan-Lennard Struff
Jan-Lennard Struff's post-lockdown form seems to have dipped
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But the German has failed to win a single match since the transition to clay; he lost in the opening round at both Rome and Hamburg.

Struff had his career-best Slam performance at last year's French Open, where he reached the Round of 16. But it would be a tough task to repeat a similar result this year, given his draw.

Frances Tiafoe vs Jan-Lennard Struff head-to-head

Frances Tiafoe leads the head-to-head against Jan-Lennard Struff by a margin of 1-0.

Tiafoe won his only tour meeting against Struff, on the indoor hardcourts of Antwerp 2019, in straight sets.

Frances Tiafoe vs Jan-Lennard Struff prediction

Frances Tiafoe plays an aggressive game, constantly looking to dictate rallies with his big serve and powerful forehand. The American can also return serve with great efficiency.

Frances Tiafoe has struggled on clay
Frances Tiafoe has struggled on clay

But Tiafoe is often over-reliant on his two biggest weapons, and his game can fall apart when his first serve and forehand aren't finding their mark. The American is also less than solid on his second serve, often coughing up double faults under pressure.

Tiafoe has an unusual swing on his forehand too, which could cause him problems with the heavier balls at this year's French Open.

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Jan-Lennard Struff on the other hand will likely relish the heavier conditions. Struff has one of the most powerful forehands on tour, but can strike winners with ease off both wings. The German is one of the few players in the draw who can hit through the court even in these conditions, which makes him the favorite going into the match.

Prediction: Jan-Lennard Struff to win in four sets.


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Published 27 Sep 2020, 21:27 IST
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