Fixture: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Aljaz Bedene
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. 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Aljaz Bedene preview
World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene for a place in the second week of the French Open on Saturday.
The fifth seed had a huge scare in his opening match, as his opponent Jaume Munar made a flying start to lead the Greek by two-sets-to-love. But Tsitsipas eventually pulled things back with the help of his scorching forehand, and secured the win in five sets to reach the second round.
Tsitsipas then took on Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in the second round - a player he had beaten the previous week in Hamburg. The Greek was flawless with his shot placement in this match and never let his focus dwindle in what was a convincing straight sets victory.
Tsitsipas has delivered progressively better results on the terre battue in the previous three editions of the tournament. Last year, Tsitsipas lost a five-set epic against former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the Round of 16.
Aljaz Bedene has also been made to work hard this week at Roland Garros. The former World No. 43 avoided a hat-trick of first-round losses with an inspired four-set win over wildcard Arthur Rinderknech on Tuesday. The Slovenian then beat qualifier Nikola Milojevic in a similar fashion to reach the third round.
Bedene is a solid and consistent player but is clearly inexperienced at the big stage. The World No. 56 has never advanced past the third round at a Major tournament.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Aljaz Bedene head-to-head
Aljaz Bedene leads Stefanos Tsitsipas by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. Their only encounter came in the round of 16 at the Rotterdam Open earlier this year, where Bedene beat Tsitsipas in straight sets.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Aljaz Bedene prediction
Stefanos Tsitsipas has looked like a formidable force at several points during the last two weeks in Hamburg and Paris.
The Greek is never afraid to charge the net when his big forehand prompts a short reply from the opponent. And while he sometimes suffers with his backhand swing on the return, he showed a slight improvement in that department during his second-round win over Cuevas.
Aljaz Bedene is a talented player in his own right, and is well-known for the easy depth he gets on his groundstrokes off both wings. The Slovenian has a very accurate serve too and can create some amazing angles from the back of the court.
Tsitsipas' mental strength will be put to the test in his third-round encounter against Bedene. The Greek has shown a tendency to choke in big matches lately; he wasted six match points against Croatia's Borna Coric at the US Open, and he lost the Hamburg title to Andrey Rublev despite having served for the match.
If Tsitsipas can oust Bedene without any such blips, it might do wonders for his confidence about going deep into the tournament this year.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in straight sets.