Welcome to the second week at Roland Garros.

A full seven days of clay court action are in the bag, the first three rounds giving us just about every possible manner of grand slam tennis. Now, everything changes.

Across both the men’s and women’s draws, this year’s last 16 have left us with an intriguing mix of the old and the new, the known and the very unknown. For all the job is yet done, and the question of who will be left to finish it is a very intriguing one indeed.

Here’s your three to see on day 8 at Roland Garros:

Karen Khachanov (RUS) vs Alexander Zverev (GER) [2] – First on Suzanne Lenglen

Two players tipped as stars of the future in the men’s game, the time is now for Karen Khachanov and Sascha Zverev with a maiden quarterfinal appearance at a major on the line. The two have played each other once before – a 7-6, 6-4 win for Zverev in St Petersburg 2016 – but both have progressed considerably since then, and in a way it’s fitting they have to go through each other for such a career milestone. Expect this to be exceptionally hard-fought, with easy power coming from both sides as Khachanov looks to dominate rallies early and Zverev tries to absorb the pressure before countering with his own. Whoever wins, it should be a very fun match and hopefully a taste of the bigger rivalry to come.

Dominic Thiem (AUT) [7] vs Kei Nishikori (JPN) [19] – Second on Philippe Chatrier

As much as Kei Nishikori’s wrist injury sucked for himself and tennis in general, it’s certainly given fans a nice present here in an otherwise premature, but no less tantalising matchup against Dominic Thiem. A slight favourite with the bookies heading in, Thiem is actually looking for his first ever win against Nishikori, who leads the head-to-head 2-0 – their most recent meeting coming on the clay in Rome 2016. A battle of baseline styles that leads to lots of punishing rallies, Thiem needs to adopt the same opportunistic mindset as Nishikori does if he wants to turn the tables, but don’t be surprised if it’s the Japanese on top when it’s all said and done. In any case, get your popcorn ready for what will definitely be a feast for one- and two-handed backhand fans alike.

Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14] vs Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [2] – Fourth on Suzanne Lenglen

She might have a ways to go to be on the same level as her opponent career wise, but make no mistake: Daria Kasatkina has plenty of cause to make Caroline Wozniacki nervous. Leading the head-to-head 2-1 (with both her wins coming this year), Kasatkina has already proven she knows how to handle the Australian Open champion, and it will be up to Wozniacki to find a way through the Russian’s intriguing variations in pace and spin, which is backed up by an appearance defying ability to tee-off on occasion. Wozniacki’s backhand in particular will be key here, and she’ll need easy points off that wing to spur the rest of her game if she’s to get through what could be a very long afternoon.


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