What to look for Sunday at the French Open
PARIS (AP) — Five things to look for Sunday at the French Open:
DJOKOVIC’S STREAK: No. 2 Novak Djokovic tries to stretch his streak of Grand Slam quarterfinals to 20 in a row by beating No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. The last major tournament at which Djokovic failed to get to the final eight? The French Open in 2009. It’s also the only major title standing between him and a career Grand Slam. Djokovic lost in the 2012 final to Rafael Nadal, and the 2013 semifinals to — yep, you guessed it — Nadal. Djokovic has won 11 of 16 matches against Tsonga, including in the 2008 Australian Open final. “He’s spoiled my career, to a certain extent, I would say,” Tsonga said. “So I wish that I could be in a position to turn the tables.”
FEDERER VS. GULBIS: As usual when it comes to Roger Federer, there’s some history on the line. If he can beat No. 18 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, Federer would reach his 42nd career Grand Slam quarterfinal, breaking Jimmy Connors’ record for the Open era, which began in 1968. Also, Federer would get to his 10th consecutive quarterfinal at the French Open, which no one has done. He’s already had double-digit quarterfinal streaks at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Gulbis, meanwhile, is in the fourth round at a major for the first time since the 2008 French Open but, according to Federer’s third-round opponent, No. 31 Dmitry Tursunov, “definitely has a very, very good game against Roger.” Gulbis is also the guy who got attention Friday by saying he wouldn’t want his sisters to become professional tennis players because, “A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids.”
NOT SINCE AGASSI: No. 10 John Isner can become the first U.S. man to get to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros since Andre Agassi in 2003, but it’ll take a victory over No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic to get there. As it is, Isner is the first American into the fourth round in Paris in four years and he said: “Being in the second week here is a very good accomplishment for me.” The 6-foot-10 Isner is a big server: Through three matches, he won 64 of 65 service games, saving 25 of 26 break points.
PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF: Andy Murray still has some work to do if he’s going to get the fourth round at the French Open for the fifth time. The Wimbledon champion got within two points of victory Saturday night, but his third-round match against 28th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber was suspended at 7-all in the fifth set because of fading light. Kohlschreiber will serve when they resume. The winner there will next face either No. 12 Richard Gasquet or No. 24 Fernando Verdasco, whose match also was halted Saturday. They’ll resume Sunday with Verdasco ahead 6-3, 6-2, 2-2.
SHARAPOVA VS. STOSUR: Maria Sharapova is a four-time major champion, including at the 2012 French Open. And she has won 13 of 15 previous matches against fourth-round foe Sam Stosur, who won the 2011 U.S. Open and was the runner-up at Roland Garros a year earlier. Still, Stosur insisted she wouldn’t be intimidated. “I have beaten her before,” Stosur said. “I know what it takes.”
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