Sinner won the only previous meeting between the two, on hardcourts in Rotterdam earlier this year. But in the five-set format of the Grand Slam tournaments, Sinner has not proved able to last. For Goffin, the physical and mental test of a marathon may be to his advantage.
Court Suzanne-Lenglen | 10 a.m.
Johanna Konta vs. Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff, the young American star, had her worst Grand Slam performance at this year’s U.S. Open, losing in the first round to Anastasija Sevastova. To think that Gauff, at 16, could be genuinely disappointed with a first-round loss is a testament to her skill.
Johanna Konta does not take Gauff lightly. “It doesn’t matter if she’s 14 or 40,” Konta said. “I think she’s there for a reason. It’s going out on court respecting the player that I’m about to play. I’m going to be playing against the tennis she brings, not her social media following, not her persona.”
For Konta, ranked No. 13, the French Open has been a strange tournament. Having competed at Roland Garros five times, she lost in the first round on her first four attempts and then surged to the semifinals in 2019 before losing to Marketa Vondrousova in two very tight sets.
Konta’s style focuses heavily on offense, which generally suits her on the faster surfaces. Gauff, playing in her first French Open, will have a slight advantage with her counterstriking and her consistency, which allows her to draw out longer points and force errors. Even for casual fans, this will be a matchup well worth watching.
Court Philippe-Chatrier | 10 a.m.
Simona Halep vs. Sara Sorribes Tormo
Simona Halep, the top seed and the 2018 Roland Garros champion, comes into this year’s French Open as a clear favorite. She skipped the U.S. hardcourt swing this summer, citing concerns over handling of health protocols, and stuck to her favored surface. She has won two clay court tournaments in succession, the Prague Open and the Italian Open, demonstrating along the way that she could dispatch rivals like Garbiñe Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova with relative ease.
Halep’s short, angled shots are supremely effective on clay and can pull even the most mobile opponents into awkward positions on the court. That will create many problems for Sara Sorribes Tormo, whose speed is not up to par with that of the top players.