Fedal XXXIX is set, and so is the Jo Konta-Marketa Vondrousova semi everyone predicted – what more could you ask for from the first day of quarterfinal action?

Well, how about the ATP’s two best clay courters (non-Rafa Nadal division) vying for the right to face each other, blocked for the moment by two of the bigger forces in the game? Or a women’s foursome that includes not just the defending champ, but three other women with playing styles and stories each more unique than the next?

Really you can’t go wrong with any of these matches, so read on for a look at all the quarterfinal action on day 11 at Roland Garros.

Matches start at 2:00pm local.

Simona Halep (ROU) [1] v Amanda Anisimova (USA) – First on Philippe Chatrier

A match featuring the most impressive player of the tournament… and Simona Halep, there’s plenty of intrigue on offer when the Romanian takes on 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova. Yet to drop a set in Paris, Anisimova has gone from a whisper of the future to a threat in the present, and Halep would do well to treat her as such. Possessing a serious weapon in her forehand, Anisimova will believe she can hit through Halep, and it will be up to the latter to keep her off balance, varying her pace and direction, and looking to attack her backhand, instead of just outlasting her in rallies. Certainly it would be unwise for Halep to expect the moment to be too big for Anisimova – she’s played fearless all fortnight, and if the Romanian is unable to match her intensity, we could be in for quite a surprising contest.

Madison Keys (USA) [14] v Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [8] – First on Suzanne Lenglen

A semi-finalist here a year ago, big-swinging Madison Keys seems to have developed an unlikely love affair with Roland Garros, but that romance might be about to come to an end if Ash Barty has her way. With a 1-1 score in the head-to-head and a path to the quarters that has seen neither woman play a seed, this is a particularly hard match to predict, although Keys’ H2H victory did come in straight sets here two years ago, possibly making her a slight favourite. Realistically though, this is one of those matches that could go in several directions, as Keys decisive power advantage could see her simply blow Barty off the court, or the Australian’s patience and touch might expose the American’s movement and make her beat herself. Either way, they should provide some entertaining tennis.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] v Alexander Zverev (GER) [5] – Second on Philippe Chatrier

If there’s any top player who needs to flip the script on their 2019 season so far, it’s probably Sascha Zverev, and here against Novak Djokovic, he has the opportunity to do exactly that. A surprisingly even matchup on paper, the head-to-head stands at 2-2, with Zverev having taken wins in the ’17 Rome and ’18 WTF finals, although obviously Djokovic still comes in a strong favourite, especially with the way he just obliterated Jan-Lennard

Struff. That said, a large reason for Zverev’s success in his two victories hasn’t changed – namely that his height allows him to really attack Djokovic’s heavy-spinning second serve – and if he can start rallies on the front foot and stop the Serb from just brick-walling him into submission, things might just get interesting.

Dominic Thiem (AUT) [4] v Karen Khachanov (RUS) [10} – Second on Suzanne Lenglen

A contest both for a place in the semi-finals and the number two spot on the ATP’s list of guys who make tennis look even harder (behind Rafa, of course), get ready for a pure slugfest when Domi Thiem plays Karen Khachanov. Their only previous meeting a win for Khachanov at last year’s Paris Masters (obviously a much faster surface), the younger Russian certainly has cause for confidence, but this is undoubtedly the Austrian’s match to lose. If Khachanov is to cause the upset, he’ll need to get ambitious with his shot placement and adventurous with his forays to net, otherwise Thiem will just stand back and trade sledgehammers until the Russian falters. In any case, the way these two crack the ball, it doesn’t matter whether it’s over in three or five, it’s likely to be an enthralling contest regardless.


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