PARIS: Roger Federer continues his first French Open campaign in four years on Friday with a third-round match against Norway’s Casper Ruud, while reigning champion Rafael Nadal faces Belgian David Goffin.
Here, AFP Sport takes a look at three matches to watch on the sixth day of the tournament:
The Norwegian’s father Christian actually played in the 1999 French Open when a 17-year-old Federer made his main-draw debut.
“They practised together,” said Casper ahead of his big day on Court Suzanne Lenglen. “So I think I remember I thought it was cool, but I was young when he told me. I didn’t realise how big of a player and champion Roger was at the time.”
Federer has gone on to win a record 20 Grand Slam titles since, although his sole French Open success came 10 years ago.
NADAL LEADS HEAD-TO-HEAD 3-1:
Nadal faces a tricky contest against former top-10 player Goffin on Court Philippe Chatrier after strolling through his first two rounds against German qualifiers Yannick Hanfmann and Yannick Maden.
The 11-time champion is a red-hot favourite to win a record-extending 12th title, and has beaten Goffin in three of their four meetings, including all three on clay.
But Goffin will take heart from their quarter-final meeting in Madrid two years ago, when he managed to force a tie-break in the opening set.
“He (Goffin) is a very complex player. He has all the shots,” said Nadal.
“He’s a player who has had an amazing career, and we practised a lot of times. We know each other well.”
SVITOLINA LEADS HEAD TO HEAD 5-3:
Ninth seed Svitolina will go into her clash with 2016 champion Muguruza fresh after receiving a walkover through the second round when fellow Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova withdrew from the tournament.
Svitolina has struggled with injuries this season but said she is back to full fitness, while former world number one Muguruza has slipped down the rankings in the last 18 months.
The 24-year-old Svitolina holds a 5-3 lead in their head-to-head record, having won their last three meetings, including their only one on clay in the 2017 Rome semi-finals when Muguruza retired with injury.