Here are the storylines and matches to watch on Day 8 of the French Open. Play begins at 5 a.m. ET. Click here for the order of play.
Roger Federer on cruise control: Through three matches, Federer has spent a mere 4 hours and 13 minutes on court, which is almost half of what it’s taken Rafael Nadal to get to the same stage. He’ll play his first seed, Gilles Simon (fourth match, Court Philippe Chatrier). Federer leads the head-to-head 3-2 and rolled past the Frenchman just a few weeks ago at the Italian Open, winning 6-1, 6-2. Federer has built his Slam success on getting through the early rounds quickly and quietly. Having seen his form over the first week, it’s hard to bet against him reaching his fifth French Open final.
Two French Open champions going for upsets: Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion, and 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova have done well to make the fourth round. To get to the quarterfinals for the first time since her title run, Ivanovic will have to get past No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who has shaken off a poor clay season to advance to the fourth round without dropping a set. Kuznetsova plays No. 8 Angelique Kerber.
The juniors kick off: The juniors begin their tournament with a number of familiar names in the draw. Taylor Townsend, 17, and 18-year-old Nick Kyrgios, who beat Radek Stepanek this week to win his first main-draw match at a major, are two names worth tracking. Another name you might recognize: Sara Tomic. Bernard’s 15-year-old sister is competing in the girls’ event.
Matches to watch
Kevin Anderson vs. David Ferrer (first match, Court Suzanne Lenglen): It’s been a breakout year for the 27-year-old Anderson, who is into his second straight fourth round at a Slam. The South African stunned Ferrer 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 at Indian Wells in March. If he has a good serving day, I give him more than a small chance of pulling off the upset here. Ferrer has been up and down through the clay lead-ups and if he doesn’t return well, he’s in trouble.
Tommy Robredo vs. Nicolas Almagro (second match, Court Suzanne Lenglen): Robredo has played back-to-back five set matches, coming back from two sets to love down to knock out Gael Monfils in the third round. The question is whether his 31-year-old legs have enough left to knock out 13th-ranked Almagro, who struggled toward the latter half of the clay-court season.
Ana Ivanovic vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (fourth match, Court Suzanne Lenglen): Radwanska has won six consecutive meetings dating to 2009, and Ivanovic hasn’t won a set in the last five matches. That said, she’s a better player than Radwanska on clay, an odd fact given that the Pole’s game is perfectly suited for the dirt.
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Angelique Kerber (first match, Court Philippe Chatrier): Kerber beat Kuznetsova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in Madrid last month. But the question is, Which Kuznetsova will show up? Will we see the two-time Slam champion who once upset Serena Williams in Paris? Or the one who has arguably underachieved over the course of her career? Kerber’s defensive prowess won’t give her too many freebies, which means the pressure is on Kuznetsova to bring her big forehand and dictate play.