The field is beginning to narrow following Day 6 action at the 2014 French Open.
Although some of the tournament's top contenders saw early departures from Roland Garros, the hope of earning a coveted Grand Slam title is alive and well for many more.
On Friday, many of tennis' brightest stars took to the court in hopes of continuing their journeys through this marathon of a tournament.
Let's take a look back and recap the matches of a few players who shone bright on Day 6 of the French Open.
(2) Novak Djokovic def. (25) Marin Cilic; 6-3, 6-2, 6(2)-7(7), 6-4
Novak Djokovic advanced through Round 3 at Roland Garros, defeating Marin Cilic after four sets in three hours and 11 minutes.
Despite Djokovic holding an 8-0 career record against Cilic, he was heavily tested—and appeared visibly frustrated at times—on Friday.
Cilic looked in great form early in the match, as Djokovic was forced to come from behind and level the game at 3-3 before ultimately winning the set 6-3.
Djokovic looked to settle in nicely in the second set, running Cilic all over the court en route to a 6-2 set win.
In the third set, Cilic showed a great deal of aggression. He recorded three aces and 13 winners while only allowing Djokovic to win one of his six break points on his way to a set victory. This marked the first time Djokovic dropped a set in quite some time.
Djokovic took control late in the fourth set after Cilic mounted a nice comeback bid. After Cilic's 19 unforced errors, including a double fault on the first match point, Djokovic took the match.
ESPN Stats and Info tweeted Djokovic's career record against Cilic after the match:
Difficulty will only continue to increase for Djokovic, as he awaits the match between (13) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and (22) Jerzy Janowicz to see who he will face in Round 4.
(4) Roger Federer def. (31) Dmitry Tursunov; 7-5, 6(7)-7(9), 6-2, 6-4
Roger Federer overcame a slew of failed break-point opportunities to defeat Dmitry Tursunov on Friday and advance through to the fourth round.
After a back-and-forth first set, Federer held strong, and a late Tursunov error gave the No. 4 seed the win.
The same trend continued in the second set, as another roller-coaster showing from both players brought the set to 6-5 in Federer's favor. This time, he failed to convert on three set points only to see Tursunov win on the tiebreak.
In the opening game of the third set, Federer required four break-point opportunities to come away with a 1-0 lead. After the set reached 2-1 in Federer's favor, Tursunov took a lengthy medical timeout, as he appeared to move gingerly around the court.
Federer took advantage of his opponent's weakness, running him around the court to eventually take the set 6-2.
In the match's final set, Federer continued to struggle with break-point opportunities. Tied at 2-2, Tursunov saved seven break points before taking the game. Federer remained resilient, overcoming his break-point woes to eventually take the set 6-4 and win the match.
ATP World Tour tweeted Federer's record-setting win:
During a press conference with Dan Imhoff of RolandGarros.com after the match, Federer spoke of his performance:
I'm pleased to be through. Like expected, it was not a straightforward, easy match. I knew that Dmitry was going to try different things, play aggressive, serve well and then take big cuts at the ball. That's kind of how it went. I think he was doing a very nice job with my slice, dictating play, and I tried to get out of it. I was trying to defend as much as I could, but I wish at times I could have played a bit more offensive and come to the net. But today was difficult because I think Dmitry keeps [you] on the back foot automatically by his big shots.
Federer won just four of his 21 break-point opportunities over the match. He'll have a difficult time in Round 4 against (18) Ernests Gulbis if he can't right the ship in that department.
(7) Maria Sharapova def. Paula Ormaechea; 6-0, 6-0
Maria Sharapova continued to impress on Friday, serving up two goose eggs against Paula Ormaechea en route to a speedy 51-minute victory.
Sharapova was brilliant across the board against Ormaechea. She won 21-of-24 first-serve points, six-of-nine break points and an impressive 26-of-33 receiving points while committing only 10 unforced errors.
According to a tweet from Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times, Sharapova is extremely confident:
After this brilliant victory, Sharapova moves on to face (19) Samantha Stosur in Round 4.
During a post-match press conference with Dan Imhoff of RolandGarros.com, Sharapova spoke of her upcoming opponent:
I believe this is one of her favorite surfaces to play on and a lot of her successes come on clay. Despite my record against her and my victory a few weeks ago, this is a new match. I'm sure she's ready for the match against me, and so will I. I look forward to that challenge. She has a great serve, she uses the court extremely well, moves well on it. It's a good matchup.
It should be a good matchup, indeed. However, if Sharapova keeps up this high level of play, there may not be another competitor capable of slowing her down.
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