As action at Roland Garros rolls into the seventh day, the line between contenders and pretenders is about to be drawn.
On Saturday, a plethora of third-round matches will serve up another steady flow of action on the red clay. Advancing to the fourth round is a bit of an accomplishment. Who's ready for the next challenge?
Here's a look at the schedule, matchups and predictions for Day 7 in France. Just below the table is a breakdown of three of the day's most high-profile matches.
|French Open Day 7 - Schedule, Round 3 Matchups and Predictions|
|Court Philippe Chatrier||Play Begins at 11 a.m.|
|No. 5 Petra Kvitova vs. No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova||Kvitova|
|No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Leonardo Mayer||Nadal|
|No. 28 Andrea Petkovic vs. Kristina Mladenovic||Mladenovic|
|No. 12 Richard Gasquet vs.No. 24 Fernando Verdasco||Gasquet|
|Court Suzanne Lenglen||Play Begins at 11 a.m.|
|No. 15 Sloane Stephens vs. No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova||Stephens|
|No. 23 Lucie Safarova vs.No. 11 Ana Ivanovic||Ivanovic|
|No. 23 Gael Monfils vs. No. 14 Fabio Fognini||Fognini|
|No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber vs.No. 7 Andy Murray||Murray|
|Court 1||Play Begins at 11 a.m.|
|No. 32 Andreas Seppi vs. No. 5 David Ferrer||Ferrer|
|No. 6 Jelena Jankovic vs. No. 26 Sorana Cirstea||Jankovic|
|Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs. Donald Young||Young|
|Court 2||Play Begins at 11 a.m.|
|Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor vs. No. 4 Simona Halep||Halep|
|Ivo Karlovic vs. No. 19 Kevin Anderson||Karlovic|
|Julia Glushko vs. No. 10 Sara Errani||Errani|
|Court 7||Play Begins at 11 a.m.|
|Jack Sock vs. Dusan Lajovic||Sock|
|Marcel Granollers vs. Martin Klizan||Continuation from suspended match on Friday. 6-7(5) 6-2 7-6(4)|
|Schedule per rolandgarros.com, predictions per Brian Mazique|
Rafael Nadal vs. Leonardo Mayer
The King of Clay has barely broken a sweat so far through two rounds. He's had consecutive straight-sets wins, and he's facing the unseeded Mayer on Saturday.
In two previous matches, Mayer hasn't been able to win a set against Nadal. There's no reason to think his fortunes will change.
Nadal has looked strong and ran his French Open record to an unbelievable 61-1 after beating Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round.
Perhaps Rafa is guarding against overconfidence, but it sounds like he played in a different match than the one everyone watched.
Per Jerome Pugmire of the Associated Press/the National Post, Nadal said this:
“It was a dangerous match, dangerous opponent today. I am happy with the way I resisted. When I had to play long points I did well. When I had to attack and move him, I think I did well.”
Whatever you say Rafa. If every other opponent is this "dangerous," Nadal is liable to win his ninth French Open title without losing a set.
Andy Murray vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Coming in as a seven-seed after an injury-plagued start to his 2014 season, Murray looks like he's prepared to rejoin the ranks of the elite in men's tennis.
He dropped one set in his first-round match against Andrey Gobulev but looked dominant against Marinko Matosevic in a straight-sets second-round triumph.
Murray will have a fairly stiff test early in the tournament due to his relatively-lower seed.
The two men have split two matches (first was a round robin meeting) with Kohlschreiber winning the most recent meeting. Granted, it was back in 2010, but it was a clay-court affair, and Kohlschrieber won it very easily, 6-2, 6-1.
That may have no bearing on Saturday's meeting, but don't be surprised to see Kohlschreiber give Murray a tough time.
Karim Zidan of Steve G Tennis says he also sees a tough match ahead for Murray:
"While Murray is capable of overcoming the tough battle, he will need to play a clean match-up and remain focused for what could be a long, grueling battle."
Sloane Stephens vs. Ekaterina Makarova
With Serena Williams ousted early, Stephens is the lone American hope on the women's side and one of just three from the United States overall.
She faces Ekaterina Makarova, an opponent she beat in their only prior meeting—two years ago at the French Open.
The left-handed Makarova can be a tricky opponent, but Stephens seemed to have no problems with the southpaw in their first meeting.
Stephens is the third-straight American who Makarova will have faced in the tournament. She has already knocked off Coco Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers. On Saturday, she'll be looking for the American triple play.
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