French Open 2017: Stan Wawrinka taking on Fabio Fognini and other clashes to watch on Day 7

The latest chapter in what is turning out to be a blockbuster rivalry between Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro will unfold at the French Open on Saturday. Even though the Argentine is playing at Paris for the first time in five years, Murray would do well not to consider himself the favourite given how he was beaten in five sets by Del Potro in last year's Davis Cup semi-finals. Here are the most interesting clashes of Day 7 at the French Open on Saturday:

1) Murray, Del Potro set for new epic?

World No 1 Andy Murray and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro square off in the latest chapter of a thrilling rivalry. Murray holds a 6-3 edge over the giant Argentine, notably downing Del Potro in a gruelling Olympic final last year to claim a second straight singles gold medal. But Del Potro avenged that defeat as he rallied from behind to overcome Murray in five sets in last year's Davis Cup semi-finals, with Argentina going on to secure their maiden title. "It's a tough match. Not an easy third round. He's, in my opinion, one of the best players in the world when he's fit and healthy," Murray said of Del Potro. The Argentine, playing in Paris for the first time in five years, goes into the match having tweaked his groin in the last round.

Head-to-head: Murray leads 6-3

Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2017 French Open . AFP

Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2017 French Open . AFP

2) Wawrinka, Fognini strike blow for over 30s
2015 champion and third seed Stan Wawrinka and the unpredictable Fabio Fognini, who beat Murray in Rome, are two of the 14 players aged 30 or over who reached the third round. New dad Fognini recorded his best Grand Slam result in Paris in 2011 when he became the first Italian man to reach the quarter-finals at a Slam since Davide Sanguinetti reached the last eight at 1998 Wimbledon.

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 4-1

 

3) Chung eyes Asian honours against Nishikori
Eighth seeded Japanese star Kei Nishikori is contesting his 100th Tour-level match on clay and is bidding to reach the round of 16 for the third straight year. His best Roland Garros performance is making the quarter-finals in 2015. He was just the second Japanese man to reach the quarter-finals after Jiri Satoh did so in 1931 and 1933. Chung Hyeong, ranked 67, is bidding to become the first Korean man to reach the round of 16 in Paris.

Head-to-head: First meeting

4) Gasquet, Monfils in all-French affair

In an all-French battle of former junior champions at Roland Garros, Richard Gasquet is aiming to win his 100th Grand Slam match and become just the fourth Frenchman to notch up a century of wins at the majors. It's the 14th meeting for the pair but just one previous match has come on clay, with Gael Monfils triumphing in straight sets in Barcelona six years ago. Monfils also leads the head-to-head in Grand Slams, having won two of their three matches at the majors, including their most recent at the 2014 US Open.

Head-to-head: Monfils leads 7-6

5) Hsieh seeks Paris breakthrough
Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei stunned British hope Johanna Konta in the first round and now looks to make the last 16 in Paris for the first time. Her only other appearance in the fourth round of a major was in Australia nine years ago. Caroline Garcia, the French 27th seed, will also make the fourth round for the first time in Paris with a victory. She signalled her intent in 2011 when, at just 17, she was a set and two breaks up on Maria Sharapova before the Russian battled back for victory.

Head-to-head: Garcia leads 1-0


Published Date: Jun 03, 2017 12:43 pm | Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017 12:43 pm


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