5 things to look for Tuesday at the French Open
PARIS (AP) — Five things to look for Tuesday at the French Open:
DJOKOVIC’S BID: Second-seeded Novak Djokovic continues his bid to become the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam when he faces No. 8 Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals. Djokovic has won six major titles (four at the Australian Open, one apiece at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open) but his resume is missing a French Open trophy. He lost in the 2012 final to Rafael Nadal, who also beat the Serb in last year’s semifinals. If Djokovic wins, he would reach his sixth semifinal at Roland Garros; in the Open era, which began in 1968, only Nadal and Roger Federer have made it that far in Paris more often.
BEEN A WHILE: Raonic, meanwhile, will be trying to do something no Canadian man has done in 91 years — get to the semifinals of a Grand Slam tennis tournament. The last was William Johnston, who reached the final four at the 1923 U.S. Championships. Raonic, 23, lost his only two matches against Djokovic — both on clay — and is 0-6 for his career against men ranked No. 1 or No. 2. “Milos is playing the tennis of his life,” Djokovic said. “He has one of the best serves in the world. Very powerful, very precise. When he serves that well, there is not much you can do, really.”
CANADA, PART II: Another Canadian, 18th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard, is in the women’s quarterfinals, facing No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. Bouchard, 20, is on a nine-match winning streak and trying to get to a second consecutive major semifinal, after making it that far at the Australian Open in January. “I haven’t seen passion from her yet, but ... she’s getting started and some people don’t show it as much,” 18-time Grand Slam title winner Martina Navratilova said. “But I’m sure she’ll be doing a pretty good dance here if she wins.”
SHARAPOVA VS. MUGURUZA: Instead of playing 2013 champion Serena Williams in a rematch of last year’s final at Roland Garros, four-time major champion Maria Sharapova takes on the woman who beat Williams in the second round, 35th-ranked Garbine Muguruza of Spain. “After Serena, many things happened. I tried to focus on every single match, match after match, because obviously people start having more expectations when you win such a match,” said Muguruza, who’ll be making her Grand Slam quarterfinal debut. Sharapova will be participating in her 21st; she’s 17-3.
CAN GULBIS KEEP GOING?: The man who eliminated Roger Federer in the fourth round, Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, will try to avoid a common pratfall in tennis — following a significant victory with a meek loss. Playing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the 2008 French Open, Gulbis takes on No. 5 Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up. Gulbis is nothing if not honest when speaking to the media, which sometimes gets him in trouble. But he is consistent. When asked after beating Federer what the key would be to beating Berdych, Gulbis avoided the sort of platitude-filled answer players often provide to that question and instead said: “I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it at all. I just came from this match. So honestly, I have no idea.”
AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire contributed to this report.
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