World no. 158, Gilles Simon of France, will take on Steve Johnson of the USA, the world number 92, in the second round of the 2022 French Open on Thursday, May 26. Get the live streaming options of this Gilles Simon v Steve Johnson match along with its preview, head-to-head, and tips here.
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Gilles Simon v Steve Johnson Head to Head
The pair have played each other once before on a hard court in Tokyo eight years ago, Simon winning in straight sets.
Simon Delights French Crowd with Thrilling Win
Like compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Roland Garros will be Simon’s swansong to competitive tennis. However, unlike Tsonga, Simon was determined to delay his farewell at his home Grand Slam and the wildcard delighted the local crowd with a fighting display against the number 16 seed, Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain.
Simon took the first set courtesy of the odd break in three, and then, after the pair swapped breaks twice in the set, another break enabled him to extend his lead.
Carreno -Busta began to mount a comeback in the third set, which he took when Simon dropped his serve attempting to stay in it.
And then two consecutive breaks enabled him to level the match.
At that stage it looked like the fairy-tale was over and Simon’s 37 year old legs would not have the strength to match the Spaniard down the home stretch.
Then ,when he was broken at the start of the fifth set, the omens were not looking good for Simon. However, he found the inner resolve to break back and then, with Carreno-Busta serving to stay in the match, he forced a match point which he gleefully seized.
The pair had been on court almost four hours.
Johnson Comes from Behind to Beat Czech
Johnson had decided to miss the entire European clay court season prior to Paris, opting to stay in the US instead, where he reached the final of a Challenger event last month.
However, he quickly found his feet in his first round match with Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, which was largely dominated by serve, at least for the first three sets.
It was Vesely who saved the only break points of the first set, but, having done so, he went on to claim it via a tie-break. The boot was on the other foot in the second set – the American saving the break points but going on to win the tie-break.
One break of serve to love was enough for Johnson to claim the third set.
And with his tail up by this time, two breaks of serve in the fourth set put him in total control of proceedings. Serving to stay in the match, Vesely did save two match points, but was powerless to prevent Johnson serving out next game.
Simon v Johnson Prediction and Tip
Simon will be heavily backed by the crowd again, but the match with Carreno-Busta must have taken a lot out of him, and it may be left to Johnson to bring down the curtain on his illustrious career.