Cameron Norrie (Great Britain, 25, 45th in the world) against Rafael Nadal
We have to believe that the land inspires the British this season. If Dan Evans knocked down the world No. 1, Novak Djokovic in Monte-Carlo, Cameron Norrie (25, 45th in the world), he is having his best season on clay. Finalist in Estoril, defeated by Albert Ramos-Vinolas, then finalist in Lyon, dominated by Stefanos Tsitsipas, the native of Johannesburg, naturalized English, visibly sharpened his left paw.
With his very reliable two-handed backhand, interesting forward game, Cameron Norrie is neither easy to read nor easy to play. But Rafael Nadal, who easily dominated him this year in Barcelona (6-1, 6-4), already knows it. Still, Norrie does not prevent herself from dreaming of a huge performance. “His record is absolutely impressive (13 titles at Roland-Garros), but that doesn’t change anything for me, explains the latter. It’s a golden opportunity to try to beat him. The pressure will not be on my shoulders. I’ll try to disturb him as much as possible. “
Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania, 30, 92nd in the world) against Novak Djokovic
The Lithuanian, whose best ranking dates back to May 2016 (50th), achieved the best Roland-Garros of his career. But after having dismissed the French Ugo Humbert and the Australian James Duckworth in four sets, he will cross paths with world number one Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian had taken him out in the second round on Parisian clay last fall (6-1, 6-2, 6-2). But the Lithuanian was then suffering from the lower back and could not exploit his qualities in return of service or his good backhand. Berankis is also coached by another Serbian, Dejan Ramadanovic, within the Tipsarevic Academy in Belgrade. Djokovic and Berankis also met in the first round of the US Open in 2013 and the Serbian won by the same score as at Roland Garros 2020.
Dominik Koepfer (Germany, 27, 59th in the world) against Roger Federer
Even if his ranking also peaked at 50th place in the world (he will be 53rd in case of defeat), Roger Federer’s next opponent is not to be taken lightly. In 2019, he caused a sensation by reaching the round of 16 of the US Open after competing in qualifying. On the other hand, the area advantage will not tilt in its favor. Professional since 2016, Koepfer had to wait until 2020 to win his first clay court match on the circuit.
This year, he decided to make the South American tour after the Australian Open, with the only notable result being a semi-final in Acapulco against his compatriot Alexander Zverev. Back on the European ocher, he did not perform better with just a quarter-final in Geneva. But that does not mean he leaves beaten. “I think I can give him a hard time, he assures. I will really fight to try to win. “