The 2014 French Open is in its final week at Roland Garros and some of the game's top stars are still in pursuit of this season's second Grand Slam tournament—even if the road hasn't been easy for top-seeded players.
Rafael Nadal is one top seed who hasn't been upset and he'll look to maintain his dominance at Roland Garros. He has won eight of the last nine French Opens.
The French Open will conclude next Sunday with the men's final. Don't miss any of the action along the way, though, as there will surely be more upsets and compelling matches.
Below you'll find a schedule complete with TV and live stream info to ensure that you'll have the opportunity to watch the action wherever you are.
|Date||Round||Coverage (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Mon, June 2||Round of 16||5 a.m. - 10 a.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 2||Round of 16||10 a.m. - 7 p.m.||Tennis Channel||TC Plus|
|Tue, June 3||Quarterfinals||8 a.m. - 1 p.m.||Tennis Channel||TC Plus|
|Tue, June 3||Quarterfinals||1 p.m. - 7 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 4||Quarterfinals||8 a.m. - 1 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 4||Quarterfinals||1 p.m. - 7 p.m.||Tennis Channel||TC Plus|
|Thu, June 5||Women's Semifinals||9 a.m. - 2 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 5||Women's Semifinals||11 a.m. - 2 p.m.||NBC||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|Fri, June 6||Men's Semifinals||7 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Tennis Channel||TC Plus|
|Fri, June 6||Men's Semifinals||11 a.m. - 2 p.m.||NBC||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|Sat, June 7||Women's Final||9 a.m. - 1 p.m.||NBC||NBC Sports Live Extra|
|Sun, June 8||Men's Final||9 a.m. - 1 p.m.||NBC||NBC Sports Live Extra|
Women's Competitor to Watch: Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova, the 2012 champion at Roland Garros, has everything working in her favor right now. Three top seeds on the women's side were ousted early, seemingly paving the way for her to make quick work of the rest of the field.
In fact, she has a ton of success against the other competitors left over. Chris Skelton tweeted that she has a great record against those women:
Sharapova is 53-11 against the 15 other women in the draw (21-3 vs. the seven other women in her half).— Chris Skelton (@ChrisSkelton87) May 31, 2014
Sharapova is a complete player. She has won a major on every surface, so the clay won't impact her pursuit of her second-career French Open. However, the 27-year-old Russian will need to be flawless in the next rounds.
In a tournament where upsets have been commonplace, the last thing Sharapova needs to do is get complacent. It's one thing to know that you're better than your opponent but playing down to their level is a no-no.
Sharapova needs to go out and be on the attack right from the opening serve. She has been effective in doing so thus far, winning 92 percent of her first-serve points in Round 1 and 88 percent in her Round 3 victory.
She simply needs to maintain her current form.
Men's Competitor to Watch: Rafael Nadal
Nadal has been the reigning champ at the French Open seemingly every year of the past decade but that could very well change in 2014. While he's still running through the competition with relative ease, a back problem could hinder his advances during the latter rounds of play.
He admitted this back problem was hurting his productivity, via ESPN.com:
'During my career, I had (a) few problems. ... Hopefully will not be (the) case the rest of the way in Paris,' Nadal said.
'I served more slowly since I started feeling the pain,' he said, noting that he's worn tape on his back for extra support.
Pain is pain but the results are what really matter. He did win the match in question against Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, so does it matter?
Well, yes, because the drop-offs in his numbers were pretty noticeable. The Associated Press, via USA Today, recorded the drops:
Against Mayer, Nadal averaged only 102 mph (165 kph) on first serves, with a top speed of 114 mph (184 kph). That was down from an average of 111 mph (179 kph) and top of 122 mph (197 kph) in the first round against Robby Ginepri last Monday.
Through six sets across his first two matches, Nadal faced only five break points and lost serve only twice. He needed to deal with eight break points against Mayer, losing two.
These drops could very well have been a result of a down day, but that's why Nadal is worth watching moving forward. If his back is indeed the issue, then it could be a matter of time before he bows out early.
Nadal owns clay—his style of play is suited perfectly for it. That said, the Spaniard's clay dominance could be quelled should his back pain persist.