Fixture: Grigor Dimitrov vs Roberto Carballés Baena
Date: 3 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
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
Live Telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Grigor Dimitrov vs Roberto Carballes Baena preview
Grigor Dimitrov sealed a straight-sets win over Slovakia's Andrej Martin to safely make it to the third round of the French Open. Dimitrov would now be sensing a big opportunity for his much-awaited breakthrough at the tournament.
Set to take on a relative greenhorn in the form of Roberto Carballes Baena in his third round encounter, the Bulgarian is on the cusp of making the second week in Paris for the very first time.
The Spaniard will be no pushover though, especially given the fact that he enters this contest on the back of a big win over 8th seed Denis Shapovalov.
The Spaniard will be will high on confidence courtesy of that win in the second round, but he has always had a good claycourt record anyway. In fact, it is on the red dirt that he secured his sole ATP title - the 2018 Ecuador Open.
Carballes Baena hadn't had the best of results heading into this year's French Open though. He started 2020 with a slew of early exits, before making decent use of his time in New York. Carballes Baena scored an upset win over compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the US Open first round, just his third main draw win at a Major.
Following that up with a such good opening few days in Paris would have given him a real boost. The 27-year-old has the ability to neutralize the pace of his opponents and even use it to his advantage, something that he did incredibly well against Shapovalov.
That, added with his affinity for clay (he has played over 70% of his tour matches on the surface) definitely make Carballes Baena a threat.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Roberto Carballes Baena head-to-head
The third round encounter on Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two players, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Roberto Carballes Baena prediction
Grigor Dimitrov enters this match as the favorite, but the 18th seed is yet to discover his best tennis this week. After starting on a rusty note in the opening round he did manage to post good numbers in the winners department in his second match, but there's still work to be done.
The Bulgarian needs to get his act together on serve, as he isn't winning as many points as he would like behind his first delivery. And given his next opponent's prowess on return, those could be worrying signs for him.
For Roberto Carballes Baena, the prospect of beating two big names of the men's draw in back-to-back matches would come with huge pressure. But he will need to hold on to his self-belief and look to execute his own game-plan well.
It will be interesting to see if the Spaniard can bring the same level of tennis after having just pIayed a five-set marathon. On paper though, this match is Grigor Dimitrov's for the taking.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov to win in four sets.Published 02 Oct 2020, 23:05 IST