TennisSection previews the 2022 French Open as Cristian Garin takes on Tommy Paul in the first round on Monday, May 23rd, 2022.
Chilean No. 1 Cristian Garin has lost his aura on the clay in the past few months, and that could open the door for the fast-improving Tommy Paul to record a first-round win at the French Open. Will the American capitalize?
Cristian Garin had won a clay-court title prior to the French Open in each of the last three seasons. But that streak ended following his unsuccessful title defenses in Santiago and Houston. Failure to add to his five ATP titles at the other low-tier tour-level events means that he arrives in Paris without any sort of gold. The Chilean No. 1 is widely considered a clay-court specialist and despite his inability to win a title yet this season, he has played some decent tennis at times most notably Rome where he made the quarterfinals. Garin’s record at Roland Garros has improved in each of the last three seasons, having made the fourth round last year.
Tommy Paul, by contrast, had fairly impressive results on the clay during the junior circuit and occasionally at the Challenger Tour. But he has not been able to mimic that form on the senior tour where his best result thus far is a semifinal run at the ATP 250 event in Parma last season. Paul has not enjoyed a fruitful return on the dirt this campaign. He is 2-5 heading to the French Open, and the odds are clearly stacked against him to change that record.
Tommy Paul owns a 1-0 head-to-head advantage over Cristian Garin. The American defeated Garin in their only meeting at tour-level at the Cincinnati Masters last year. Garin will likely avenge that defeat at the French Open as he is the superior clay-courter. But you can never discount the American as his game continues to blossom across all surfaces. The Chilean should win this by the narrowest of margins.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Cristian Garin to win in five sets.
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