Fixture: Gael Monfils vs Alexander Bublik
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. 3 pm CEST, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sport / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule
Gael Monfils vs Alexander Bublik preview
Eighth seed Gael Monfils kicks off his Roland Garros campaign against Alexander Bublik in the first round on Monday.
Monfils has struggled to recreate his incredible form before the lockdown. After a strong start at the Australian Open, the Frenchman triumphed in Montpellier and Rotterdam, and lost a hard-fought semifinal against Novak Djokovic in Dubai.
Following the lockdown, Monfils did not travel to America and skipped the hardcourt season, citing health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But since restarting on European clay, the World No. 9 has been in abysmal form.
He crashed out in the first round of both the Italian Open in Rome and the Hamburg Open, and comes into Roland Garros with very little confidence.
Monfils faces Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik, who has yet to make a real mark on the ATP Tour. However, the World No. 56 does enter the tournament on the back of a quarterfinal finish in Hamburg, despite getting entry into the main draw as a 'lucky loser'.
Gael Monfils vs Alexander Bublik head-to-head
The head-to-head between Gael Monfils and Alexander Bublik stands at 0-0 as the two have never played each other on tour before.
Gael Monfils vs Alexander Bublik prediction
The unpredictable nature of Alexander Bublik's playing style makes him a torrid opponent for Gael Monfils, who comes into his home Slam without the advantage of capacity crowds cheering his name.
Monfils' footwork and ability to generate pace from the baseline are part of his trademark style that make him dangerous on clay courts. But the French Open this year comes with remarkably different conditions, and the 34-year-old's serve was already off its rhythm in Rome and Hamburg. That is sure to play a critical role in Paris.
Bublik, on the other hand, looks more settled for the conditions in Paris. He possesses a big serve and equally powerful groundstrokes that are sure to test the Frenchman's resolve.
The Kazhak certainly has the skills to upset an out-of-form Monfils. If the Frenchman does not improve his play drastically, it could be a very difficult outing for him.
Prediction: Alexander Bublik to win in four sets.
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