French Open 2013: How to Watch Saturday's Biggest Matches

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French Open 2013: How to Watch Saturday's Biggest Matches
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Almost a week of French Open action is in the books, but things are just starting to heat up as the tournament's top players face stiffer competition by the match with the third round underway.

Some elite players from both the men's and women's side take the clay courts Saturday at Roland Garros, and it's sure to excite as they each face formidable opponents hungry for a major upset at the year's second Grand Slam event.

Let's take a look at how you can catch Saturday's biggest matches.

 

 

French Open TV Schedule: Saturday, June 1 (all times ET)

Tennis Channel: 5 a.m. to noon

NBC: Noon to 3 p.m.

All of Saturday's matches can be found here.

 

 

Notable Saturday Matches

No. 3 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 27 Fabio Fognini

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It's safe to say that seven-time champion Rafael Nadal hasn't been dominating his competition so far, with both of his first two matches going four sets. But he's pushing along.

Up next won't be an unranked opponent that he can afford to overlook, though. No. 27 Fabio Fognini is a real threat and if Nadal doesn't treat him as such, we could see more struggles from the Spaniard.

Nadal's mind isn't solely on his play, however. He was visibly unhappy with the French Open scheduling on Friday, according to the Associated Press via FOX Sports

Perhaps Nadal has a point, considering he's won the event seven out of the last eight years. Winning that much gives you a feeling of entitlement, and the French Open officials can't afford for their prized player to be receiving a disadvantage.

Regardless, if Nadal isn't focused on his upcoming match, his struggles will continue. 

 

 

No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Serbian sensation Novak Djokovic has shown spectators why he garnered the top overall seed at the French Open so far, posting two straight-set victories—including a 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 throbbing of Argentinian Guido Pella in the second round.

But just like Nadal, the competition looks to be getting slightly fiercer as he takes on No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov, who is one of the up-and-comers at just 22 years of age. He's likely to be a top-10 player soon in the next few years. 

Djokovic slipped up on the clay courts at the Rome Masters just before heading to Roland Garros, and this matchup could have a similar result if he hasn't learned from his recent struggles. 

Nothing will come easy for the Djoker on Saturday, but it should serve as a solid tune-up match, given he brings his A-game. But if he doesn't take his opponent seriously, we could see this thing go five sets.

 

 

No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. Jie Zheng

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

So far, so good for the defending women's singles champion. 

Through her first two matches, No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova has looked the part and even battled through a rain-delayed second-round match against 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on Friday.

It'll be a short break, though; she faces Chinese player Jie Zheng on Saturday as she looks to continue her roll through Roland Garros.

Sharapova is desperately looking for her second straight French Open victory, and seems to be heading in the right direction for a championship match appearance next weekend. 

 

 

No. 3 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 31 Alize Cornet

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

No. 3 seed Victoria Azarenka hasn't been tested so far at Roland Garros, but it's getting to do-or-die time as the 23-year-old has never advanced past the quarterfinal round at the French Open.

With a victory over No. 31 Alize Cornet of France Saturday, she'd inch one step closer to making this a historic French Open appearance for herself and, more importantly, one step closer to avenging her loss to Serena Williams at the Rome Masters earlier this month. 

One of the most intriguing storylines in this year's action is the debate of whether Azarenka is ready to become a perennial threat at every Grand Slam event. In order to prove to her doubters that she's always dangerous, a strong showing at Roland Garros is a must.

If Azarenka is bounced relatively early again at the French Open, her critics will be louder than ever. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Steven Cook on Twitter

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