Day 4: Things to look out for

 - Simon Cambers

Twenty-three-time major champion Williams, newest Slam winner Thiem and young gun Gauff eye third round.

Day four of Roland-Garros and we’re into round two, with the big guns beginning to get used to the conditions and build as they hope to improve as the rounds progress.

There are some cracking matches to look forward to, none more so than the one between Serena Williams and Tsvetana Pironkova, a repeat of their US Open quarter-final from a few weeks ago.

Coco Gauff will have to deal with being favourite to beat Italy’s Martina Trevisan while Dominic Thiem, riding high after his US Open victory, will be wary of a resurgent Jack Sock.

Here’s what to look out for on Wednesday at Roland-Garros.

Williams braces for quarter-final rematch

For Williams and Pironkova, their second-round meeting at Roland-Garros on Wednesday will be like buses; they don’t face each other for five years and then two meetings come along at once.

Thirteen years after their first clash, Williams and Pironkova will go head to head in round two, three weeks after they met in the quarter-finals of the US Open, in what was the Bulgarian’s first event in three years, having retired and had a baby before deciding to return.

On that occasion, Williams came from behind to win in three sets and though she has won all five of previous meetings, the 39-year-old is ready for another battle.

“She's playing well, but I am too,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said. “ I'm ready to play her. She'll be ready to play me. It will be a long match, she will get a lot of balls back, but so [will] I. I'll be ready.”

Teen bids to back up big win

Expectation and hype surrounds Gauff everywhere she goes and the 16-year-old deals with it in an incredibly mature way. Her potential and her even temperament were on show as she beat ninth seed Johanna Konta in straight sets in round one but on Wednesday she will be the favourite when she plays Trevisan of Italy.

Trevisan advanced when fellow Italian Camila Giorgi retired injured in the second set and will test Gauff’s nerve. But the American believed she was ready for whatever was to come, and said she was adjusting to the cooler than usual conditions at this year’s Roland-Garros, including what to wear.

“I definitely have a little bit more experience playing in these conditions,” she said. “I guess now I kind of know what works for me because all the way down to the clothes, at first I wasn't going to wear the leggings in my match. At the last second I put them on. So now I know that that works for me. That's what I'm going to do with the next match.”

Thiem out to wear Sock down

Having won the US Open for his first Grand Slam title earlier this month, Thiem has to deal with the pressure of being the hunted but if his first-round win over Marin Cilic is anything to go on, he is handling it just fine.

On Wednesday, though, he faces something of an unknown quantity. Sock is a a man he knows well, but the American is making his way back toward the top rungs of the game after a couple of years in the wilderness, hit by injuries.

Having qualified for the main draw, Sock may just be thinking back to 2015, when he reached the fourth round and took a set off Rafael Nadal. But he is also realistic as he prepares to face the Austrian, who has been runner-up to Nadal in each of the past two years.

“He loves it here,” Sock said. “Had some amazing results here. Probably playing the best tennis of his life or some of, winning his first Grand Slam a few weeks ago.

“I also think I'm a good player. I'm going to stick to my patterns, stick to my games, hopefully try to dictate some points, control some of the match on my racquet. If he's doing that on his side of the court, moving you around, controlling points, it's not going to be a very good day against him. I'll have to do what I can to try to kind of stick to my play and see how it goes.”

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