Third Round French Open Predictions: Fognini & Musetti to Continue Good Roland Garros Form

Third Round French Open Predictions: Fognini & Musetti to Continue Good Roland Garros Form article feature image

Jean Catuffe/Getty. Pictured: Lorenzo Musetti.

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Tension is on the rise, stakes are exponentially increasing and round 3 at the French Open here. Players will battle to reach the final 16 and the competition is only getting stronger.

Young Italian star Lorenzo Musetti takes on Cameron Norrie and Italian veteran Fabio Fognini takes on Sebastian Ofner. How will the Italians fare in the third round?

Here are my thoughts on these two matchups.

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Third Round French Open Predictions

Lorenzo Musetti (-165) vs Cameron Norrie (+135)

8:15 a.m. ET

Norrie has amassed an 18-6 record on clay in 2023. His record looks good, he has a title and a final from the South American swing, and yet I have not been impressed by watching his play. Dissecting his record a bit more, Norrie is just 2-5 against top 50 opponents on the surface. He seems to be lacking some of the consistency and knack of frustrating his opponents that he had last year. The Brit has done well to handle the crowd against two Frenchmen so far, but they were not necessarily the highest quality opponents.

Musetti has played world class tennis in his opening two rounds. He has not had the best of seasons but he was picking up plenty of steam leading up to Roland Garros. The Italian is capable of beating the highest caliber of player. He took  down the then world No. 1 Djokovic earlier this year and Alcaraz in the final of an ATP 500 last year. The 21-year old does not have too many appearances at Roland Garros, but this is what it has taken to eliminate him: A two-set comeback from Stefanos Tsitsipas and an two-set comeback from Djokovic. Musetti should be a feared opponent in every match he plays in Paris.

He handled Norrie in Barcelona not long ago, and I expect a similar result this time around. The level of tennis that Musetti is producing is a whole tier above Norrie's at the moment and I do not think he will have too much trouble reaching the fourth round.

Pick: Musetti -2.5 games (-120 via DraftKings)

Fabio Fognini (-135) vs Sebastian Ofner (+110)

7:35 a.m. ET

A huge opportunity presents itself for both of these players. Ofner can reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, and Fognini can achieve that feat for the first time since 2021. Thanks to upsets caused by both of them, they face an unseeded opponent en route to the next round.

Ofner put in excellent work to find his way through Sebastian Korda, who seemed to be catching his stride. Eliminating him in straight sets was something not many would have expected. Ofner spends most of his time on the Challenger Tour and hadn't even faced a top 50 opponent in 2023 until this week. Prior to Roland Garros, he held just a 2-8 record against such opponents. Regardless, his performance last round seems as though he is playing at the highest level in his career thus far.

Fognini may not be currently ranked in the top 50, but he sure has the talent of such a player. I still believe that Fognini's ball striking is up with the best players on Tour. He lacks the serve that most ATP players have these days, but when he is locked in, it doesn't taking much time watching to see the level he is capable of.

I said this before his match against Felix Auger-Aliassime and I will emphasize it again – I can not remember the last time I saw Fognini this focused and playing with this much passion. Retirement may be on the horizon, and if that's the case he's determined to go out the right way.

It's hard to pick against a locked in Fognini. I feel as though he is still deeply undervalued.

Pick: Fognini ML (-135 via DraftKings)

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