Stay tuned for updates throughout the French Open as Nick's Pick will bring you daily analysis and predictions!
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Jill Craybas (USA)
It took Wozniacki over two and a half hours to beat a tough Vera Dushevina in the opening round. She has played well on clay this year, winning the title in Ponte Vedra Beach and reaching the finals in Charleston and Madrid. She hasn't been past the third round at the French Open in her career, but this year the expectations are very high!
Craybas is a veteran American who has a knack for knocking out top seeds. She has never had great success at Roland Garros, as she has never advanced farther than the second round.
Wozniacki is 1-0 against Craybas, with that win coming earlier this year in Auckland. Craybas is a fighter and will not hesitate to take it right to Wozniacki. She is a darn good athlete, moves incredibly well and is very aggressive. Wozniacki cannot get frustrated with Craybas' ability to track down an extra ball or two, she has to remain patient and play her game. Wozniacki is younger, stronger, and has more tools than Craybas and should be able to dictate play with her powerful groundstrokes. Craybas will certainly give Wozniacki a match, but I see the young Dane pulling through.
Nick's Pick - Wozniacki in 2 sets
Serena Williams (USA) vs. Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP)
It was definitely a good sign to see Serena win her first round match, because she has been dealing with a knee injury that has really hampered her play. She needed three sets, but Zakopalova is a tough competitor, especially on clay.
Ruano Pascual is playing in her 13th career French Open. She is a former quarterfinalist, but hasn't been past the second round since 2004. The 35-year old veteran is extremely adept at playing on clay and will definitely be up to the challenge that is Serena Williams.
Ruano Pascual is 1-0 against Serena with that win coming way back in 1998 at Wimbledon. I don't think that match has any bearing at all on this one coming up. Ruano Pascual is an excellent clay-courter, having won five titles on the surface in her career. She has also won five French Open doubles titles, so you know she is comfortable a the net and moves well. Serena has to take her time with Ruano Pascual, because the veteran is crafty and will make Serena work. Look for Serena to try and dictate play with her serve and powerful groundstrokes, but don't be surprised if Ruano Pascual is able to make this an interesting match, especially since it is on the clay.
Nick's Pick - S. Williams in 3 sets
Venus Williams (USA) vs. Lucie Safarova (CZE)
It took Venus three sets and nearly two hours to beat fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first round. She broke Mattek-Sands six times, but was broken three times herself. She is going to need that serve to be at its best if she wants to win this title!
Safarova beat Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy student Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in the first round and is into the second round of the French Open for the third time in her career. Coming into the tournament she had played in nine clay-court matches this year and had a 5-4 record.
Venus is 2-0 against Safarova, with both of those wins coming on clay. She beat her earlier this year in Rome in three sets. Venus' tough opener will not deter her whatsoever from her goal. She has all the tools to win this tournament, she just needs to remain consistent and keep the unforced errors down. Venus isn't afraid to come in and attack the net, and if her serve is clicking she can really do some damage. Safarova has a big game and knows how to capitalize when the opportunity presents itself. The difference in this match will be Venus' movement and this will force Safarova to over-hit and make errors.
Nick's Pick - V. Williams in 2 sets
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs. Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
To say that Suarez Navarro a surprise at last year's French Open is an understatement. Her run was a complete shock! Now, people are going to expect big things from her every time she takes the court and we will have to see how that affects her play. She opened up with an easy win over Edina Gallovits 6-1, 6-4.
Hradecka is playing in her first career main draw Grand Slam singles match. She just reached the finals last week in Strasbourg on clay before falling to Aravane Rezai in straight sets. She won her first round match over Yvonne Meusburger very comfortably - 6-1, 6-2.
This will be the first career meeting between Hradecka and Suarez Navarro. Hradecka is playing well as of late, but she hasn't faced a competitor like Suarez Navarro. The young Spaniard knows how to get the crowd on her side and really feeds off their energy. She has an excellent one-handed backhand and moves extremely well. Suarez Navarro knows she has a lot of points to defend and I would be surprised to see her exit this early.
Nick's Pick - Suarez Navarro in 2 sets
Keep an eye on these matches tomorrow:
Nadia Petrova (RUS) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS) - This has the potential to be an excellent match and all eyes will be focused to see how Maria handles Petrova. She doesn't like losing to Russians, but I don't think Petrova will want to lose either! Petrova doesn't really have any glaring weaknesses and is strong and confident. Sharapova has to have a huge serving day and go for broke when she gets the chance. The longer this match goes, the move it favors Petrova because of Sharapova's lack of recent match play. This should be a good one!
Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) vs. Jie Zheng (CHN) - Larcher de Brito, an NBTA student, qualified for her first Grand Slam main draw match and then beat Melanie South in the first round. Everyone is making a huge deal out of her grunting, but what the should be focusing on is her excellent play. She has great groundstrokes and goes for broke on every shot. She doesn't play defensive tennis at all and will need her serve to be on against a tough opponent like Zheng. This will be a great test for Michelle because of how solid Zheng is from the baseline. Look out for Michelle because she refuses to lose!