French Open 2016: Sunday Schedule and Predictions for Roland Garros Bracket

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2016

Britain's Andy Murray serves the ball to  Croatia's Ivo Karlovic during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, May 27, 2016 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

With the first week of the 2016 French Open in the books, fourth-round play will begin Sunday, featuring big names such as Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep taking the court at Roland Garros.

The tournament has been a chaotic one thus far, with Rafael Nadal pulling out of the men's draw and the likes of Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka already going down in the women's, and that unpredictability could make for an entertaining day of tennis Sunday.

As the matches get more competitive and important with just four rounds left to play, here is a full rundown of Sunday's singles schedule and a closer look at some of the top matches tennis fans won't want to miss.

 

Sunday Viewing Information

Where: Stade Roland Garros in Paris

When: Sunday, May 29 from 5 a.m. ET to 3 p.m. ET

Watch: Tennis Channel (5 a.m. ET to noon ET) and NBC (noon ET to 3 p.m. ET)

Live StreamNBC Sports Live Extra

 

May 29 Schedule

2016 French Open: Day 8 Order of Play for Singles Matches
CourtOrderMatchupPredicted Winner
Philippe-Chatrier1(4) Garbine Muguruza vs. (13) Svetlana KuznetsovaKuznetsova
Philippe-Chatrier2(3) Stan Wawrinka vs. (22) Viktor TroickiWawrinka
Philippe-Chatrier3(5) Kei Nishikori vs. (9) Richard GasquetNishikori
Philippe-Chatrier4(6) Simona Halep vs. (21) Samantha StosurHalep
Suzanne-Lenglen1(8) Milos Raonic vs. Albert Ramos-VinolasRaonic
Suzanne-Lenglen2(25) Irina-Camelia Begu vs. Shelby RogersBegu
Suzanne-Lenglen3(2) Andy Murray vs. (15) John IsnerMurray
Suzanne-Lenglen4(2) Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Tsvetana PironkovaRadwanska
RolandGarros.com

 

Top Matches

Andy Murray vs. John Isner

No. 2 Andy Murray plowed into the fourth round by righting the ship after struggling in the first two rounds of the 2016 French Open, but he will be met with his toughest challenge yet in the form of 15th-seeded John Isner.

Murray took down 6'11" Ivo Karlovic in straight sets in the third round, and the 6'10" Isner is a similar player largely because of his dominant serve.

While the American has taken some sets off Murray in the past, the two-time Grand Slam winner holds a career record of 5-0 against him.

Despite Isner's lack of success against the Scot, he is confident he will give him everything he can possibly handle Sunday, according to Nick McCarvel of USA Today:

Isner has been on the verge of breaking through and becoming a Grand Slam contender on several occasions, but he has just one Grand Slam quarterfinal to show for it.

Per Douglas Robson of USA Today, the 31-year-old veteran has a sense of urgency to change that:

All five previous meetings between Murray and Isner occurred on hard courts, so the complexion of their match could be far different on clay.

The red stuff hasn't always been kind to either competitor, and while Murray has the advantage because of his mobility, Isner's cracking serve can make life difficult for opponents on the surface.

Murray was nearly ousted by inferior opponents in each of the first two rounds, and Isner is undoubtedly a better and more talented player at this stage than both Radek Stepanek and Mathias Bourgue.

This may represent Isner's best opportunity to pull off the upset because of Murray's inconsistent form, but if the Brit plays the same way he did against Karlovic, he'll be bound for the quarterfinals.

 

Simona Halep vs. Samantha Stosur

The bottom half of the women's draw at Roland Garros is wide-open, and it can be argued that former French Open finalists Simona Halep and Samantha Stosur have as good a chance as anyone to advance to the final from that portion.

One of them won't play beyond the fourth round, however, as they will meet in arguably the most intriguing women's match on the Sunday slate.

Halep and Stosur have plenty of history against one another, with the Romanian holding a 4-3 advantage in head-to-head meetings with Stosur.

The Aussie won each of the first three encounters between them, but Halep is on a four-match winning streak, including a recent 6-2, 6-0 demolition this year at Madrid on clay.

According to Sarah Edworthy of the Roland Garros website, the former U.S. Open champion is hoping to put that decisive loss behind her: "She's a player you have to beat. She doesn't give too much away. Obviously I will go back and remember why I fell apart, but I'm not going to lose too much sleep over that match going into this next one."

While Stosur has enjoyed some success on clay with one final appearance at Roland Garros and two other semifinal appearances, she hasn't gotten past the fourth round since 2012.

She also struggles against highly ranked players on clay, per WTA director of content and publications Kevin Fischer:

After reaching the French Open final in 2014, Halep was ousted in the second round last year. She was also eliminated in the first round of the Australian Open earlier this year, making her among the most unpredictable top players on the women's side.

Her game is well-tailored to clay because of her movement and ability to chase down nearly every ball, though, and her recent success against Stosur should give her enough confidence to prevail.

 

Kei Nishikori vs. Richard Gasquet

Provided Murray is able to defeat Isner and advance to the quarterfinals, a trip to the semis is far from guaranteed, as he will face a significant challenge from either Kei Nishikori or Richard Gasquet.

Both Nishikori and Gasquet are extremely talented players with all the makings of dark horses who could sneak into the final out of the bottom half of the draw.

Nishikori is a former U.S. Open finalist who reached the French Open quarterfinals for the first time last year, and while Gasquet has never made it past the fourth round at Roland Garros, the French crowd is completely behind him.

Gasquet has a 6-2 career record against Nishikori, but the Japanese star has won each of their past two meetings—both of which were straight-set victories this year on clay.

By virtue of his recent success against Gasquet, Nishikori is confident entering the match, as evidenced by his press conference following a tough five-set win over Fernando Verdasco Friday, via TennisTonic.com

I will try to prepare well. First of all, I have to recover well from today's match. Gasquet is from here, so it's not easy. But I have a good feeling against Richard, especially winning our last two matches. So I will try to play good tennis.

In addition to winning two straight matches against Gasquet, Nishikori holds the advantage when it comes to performing in clutch situations.

Per ATP Media Info, the 26-year-old excels in decisive situations more so than any other player on tour:

Sunday's match has the potential to be a classic that could go the distance, which is something Murray will undoubtedly be rooting for after getting pushed to the brink in each of his first two matches.

Gasquet has been no match for Nishikori on clay as of late, and despite the home-court advantage, he'll fall to the No. 5 seed once again at Roland Garros.

 

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