Roland Garros: Will Alex de Minaur beat Alexander Zverev?

Alexander Zverev
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Eventually, the very good players finally understand how to figure out on the clay.

Up until this year, the Australian Alex de Minaur looked very good on the hard courts, but in the slow surfaces on the dirt, he could be very impatient. But now de Minaur became committed, and two days ago, he stunned to beat Daniil Medvedev in four sets. He has yet to reach the semis at the Grand Slams. In January, he won the United Cup in the hard courts, beating Alexander Zverev in the final. Now his confidence is high there, which is good, as over the past two months, he wasn’t great yet, but he was pretty solid.  

“Well, I screamed, ‘I love the clay. I love it here. I can’t get enough,’” De Minaur said, who has to face Alexander Zverev in Roland Garros. “I’m pretty happy, (I’m) not going to lie. (I) managed to beat a quality opponent in a Grand Slam fourth round, which is one of the goals that I had been setting for myself to go deeper at these events. I’m very proud of myself.”

De Minaur is ready to win another match, but Zverev has beaten de Minaur seven times, and lost just two. In Paris, Zverev won a very close match, twice, in the five setter. At times, he can back off, but when he has to, he can swing away, deep, and close to the lines. Zverev  will not be nervous, yet, but de Minaur might panic when it is super close.

“They gave me a lot of slack for me complaining all these years of my level on the clay, but now it looks like it’s one of my best slam results. It looks like I’ve converted myself into a clay specialist,” de Minaur said.

Zverev beat de Minaur at Indian Wells in March. So he will do it again, but maybe not in five setters. The German will collapse. Perhaps.

Aryna Sabalenka is playing very solid, even better, as she will rake the ball. She has to face the 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva, who is so quick. The Russian Andreeva can slam the ball, especially with her hard backhand. Her forehand is pretty good, but she has a lot of work to do over the years. Sabalenka is now much more calm in the Slams, and her serve has improved a lot. Her forehand and her backhand are terrific, and now she can change it up, more. The Belarusian  Sabalenka  will win it in two, tough sets.

When Elena Rybakina is on, it looks like that she can win another Grand Slam, like she did at the 2022 at Wimbledon. But that is on the grass, so with the clay, you have to be patient and really set it up. At Roland Garros,  Rybakina is attacking early, and she is more thoughtful. But at times, she can become very frustrated.

She has to face against Jasmine Paolini who has a good year, and while she isn’t very tall, she can run for a very long time. She is fast, and she can move forward, and try to put it away.  The Italian Paolini has played for 10 years,  and while she has played much better, but  Rybakina will pound her and win in in straight sets.