Roland Garros 2013: Best Matches to Watch in Saturday's French Open Action
Now the French Open starts getting good.
It's always fun to watch and see which unseeded players can make a deep run, but you mostly watch tennis for the stars. With Saturday's third-round play, you're going to see the best players begin to really trim the herd.
There haven't been a ton of big upsets just yet. No. 5 Tomas Berdych is the highest seed in the men's singles draw to have exited after he lost in the first round to Gael Monfils. Li Na, seeded sixth, lost to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and is the highest women's seed to have been eliminated.
The three matches ahead might not feature the best players in the tournament, but they are the most interesting and should be the most fun to watch.
It's always entertaining to watch players try to win Grand Slams on their home soil.
Richard Gasquet isn't the highest-seeded Frenchman left—that would be Jo-Willfried Tsonga—but he'll have the weight of a country on his shoulders as well as he looks to become the first Frenchman since Yannick Noah in 1983 to win a men's singles title at Roland Garros.
Gasquet has been very good in the first two rounds, beating both Sergiy Stakhovsky and Michal Przysiezny in straight sets.
His opponent, Nikolay Davydenko, has done well in the first two rounds, also taking out both his opponents in straight sets. Unfortunately, his buildup to the French Open has been lackluster. Davydenko lost in the first or second round in each of his last eight tournaments coming into Roland Garros.
He's also had problems against Gasquet throughout his career (h/t Betfred):
Richard Gasquet has won 5 of his 7 meetings with Nikolay Davydenko— Betfred Live (@BetfredLive) June 1, 2013
Don't expect to see the Frenchman knocked out the tournament just yet.
No. 12 Tommy Haas vs. No. 19 John Isner
The last best hope for an American to win the men's singles title is 19th-seeded John Isner. He's got No. 12 Tommy Haas in the third round. That's the bad news. The good news is that Isner is 3-2 against Haas, but this is their first meeting on clay.
Isner's already been put through the wringer at the French Open after he beat Ryan Harrison in five sets (h/t French Open official Twitter account):
Isner def. Harrison in an epic, 5-7 6-7 6-3 6-1 8-6. Becomes just fourth man at #RG13 to come from two-sets-to-love down to win a match.— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2013
Haas, on the other hand, only needed six sets to dispatch Guillame Rufin and Jack Sock. This is about the time, though, that Haas usually bows out of the French Open. He's never made it past the fourth round, and his 65.4 winning percentage at Roland Garros is the lowest of his Grand Slam output.
This match is a toss-up.
No. 9 Samantha Stosur vs. No. 18 Jelena Jankovic
This is one of only two matches in the women's singles draw on Saturday featuring two seeded opponents.
Who wins this matchup?
Roland Garros has been kind to Samantha Stosur. Three of the last four years she's advanced to at least the semifinals, making a finals appearance in 2010.
Jelena Jankovic has been similarly productive at the French Open in the past, making three semifinals between 2007-10. Recent years have not been as fruitful. She's failed to make it past the fourth round in any Grand Slam since that semifinal run at the French Open in 2010.
Stosur could be just the opponent for Jankovic to kick-start her Grand Slam form. Jankovic is 6-2 in her career against Stosur, winning the last three matchups. The last one came at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in April.
Don't be surprised if it's Jankovic moving on to the fourth round.
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