Here are the most interesting clashes of Day 8 at the French Open on Sunday:
Encore for rampant Nadal?
Roberto Bautista Agut could be forgiven for any trepidation ahead of his fourth-round clash with Rafael Nadal. The record nine-time French Open champion inflicted a crushing defeat on Nikoloz Basilashvili in round three, dropping just one game in his most lopsided Grand Slam victory. The Spaniard hasn't dropped a set so far as he attempts to become the first man to claim 10 titles at a single Major. "I have a feeling that I have played well up to now," Nadal said ominously after thumping Basilashvili. As for 17th seed Bautista Agut, he has advanced to last 16 of a Slam seven times but never beyond. Only a monumental upset would change that.
Head-to-head: Nadal leads 1-0
More trouble ahead for Djokovic?
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic found himself in deep trouble against Diego Schwartzman, trailing the Argentine by two sets to one before pulling through. "All in all, it was good to be part of five-set match," said Djokovic. "I see a lot of good things in it. I think it will put me in a good place mentally, as well." In the last 16 the Serb faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas, whose best Grand Slam run came when he made last year's French Open quarter-finals. The World No 2 won their most recent meeting in straight sets as Serbia swept to a convincing 4-1 victory over Spain in this year's Davis Cup quarter-finals.
Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 3-0
Nishikori, Chung resume after rain
South Korean upstart Hyeon Chung took the fight to Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the first third-round meeting between two Asian players at Roland Garros before rain intervened. Eighth seed Nishikori edged the first two sets, but 21-year-old Chung kept his cool to shade a third-set tie-break and moved a double break ahead in fourth at 3-0 before play was suspended. The World No 67 left Nishikori rattled, with the 2014 US Open finalist smashing a racquet in disgust as his frustration mounted.
Head-to-head: First meeting
Muguruza, Mladenovic face off
Garbine Muguruza's performances are improving round by round as she bids to defend her title. However, fourth-round opponent Kristina Mladenovic, the French No 1, will have the majority of the crowd behind her on Court Philippe Chatrier. Their only prior meeting was a tight affair as Mladenovic scraped through in two tie-break sets on the clay in Marrakesh two years ago. "Mladenovic this year is very talented. Her confidence has gone up," said Muguruza. "She is also at home. So who knows? Maybe playing at home is a double-edged sword."
Head-to-head: Mladenovic leads 1-0
In-form Svitolina in action
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina leads the WTA Tour with 33 wins this season, notably defeating Simona Halep to lift the Italian Open title in Rome. The fifth seed made the last eight at Roland Garros in 2015 —her best showing at a Slam — and is also number one on the Race to Singapore leaderboard. Her next opponent, 94th-ranked Magda Linette from Poland, is through to the third round of a major for the first time after knocking off 29th seed Ana Konjuh.
Head-to-head: First meeting
Published Date: Jun 04, 2017 11:58 am | Updated Date: Jun 04, 2017 11:58 am