Fixture: Grigor Dimitrov vs Grégoire Barrère
Date: 29 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. 6 pm CEST, 9.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Grigor Dimitrov vs Gregoire Barrere preview
The first round of the French Open will see Grigor Dimitrov take on home favorite Gregoire Barrere in a grudge match going back to early 2020.
The Bulgarian lost a tough three-set match to Barrere on the hardcourts of Lyon in February this year. Besides, this match in Paris comes on the heels of the hardcourt swing where Dimitrov sustained a few tough losses, so it would be of added significance for him.
Playing in his first claycourt tournament of the season, Dimitrov made it to the last eight in Rome before losing to Denis Shapovalov. He needs to continue in the same vein if he wishes to exact revenge over Barrere.
The Frenchman knows this venue well, having scored his first Grand Slam main draw win here in 2019. He has also played a few other big matches in the past against the likes of David Goffin and Karen Khachanov, so he is unlikely to be feeling any extra pressure of playing on the big stage.
Game-wise, Barrere does enjoy the faster hardcourts a lot more. He plays an aggressive baseline-oriented game and has a powerful backhand - a weapon that he used quite ably against Dimitrov at Lyon.
To stand a chance at an upset here, Barrere will need to step out with similar intent on Tuesday.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Gregoire Barrere head-to-head
The match from Lyon is the only time that the two players have faced each other on tour. Gregoire Barrere, 26, leads 1-0 in the head-to-head over Grigor Dimitrov by virtue of that sole win.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Gregoire Barrere prediction
Grigor Dimitrov, although still a favorite to come out on top of this one, cannot take his opponent lightly at all. Even though he looked to be heading towards his best form in Rome, the loss against Shapovalov would have planted a seed of doubt in his mind.
The match on Tuesday is set to be a huge mental battle for Dimitrov. Not only has he lost back-to-back matches to a similarly unheralded opponent (Marton Fucsovics) in the last few weeks, he is also yet to stage a big run in Paris. The Bulgarian has never made it past the third round at the French Open.
Gregoire Barrere, having not played as many five-set matches as his opponent, would need to keep a foot on the pedal early or Dimitrov could race away to a huge lead. If the Frenchman can stay in the rallies long enough to tire the Bulgarian, he would improve his chances a great deal.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov to win in four sets.Published 28 Sep 2020, 13:11 IST