Day 9: Things to look out for

 - Danielle Rossingh

A first-ever clash between Dimitrov and Tsitsipas will take centre stage at Roland-Garros on Monday.

A first ever clash between Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas will take centre stage at Roland-Garros on Monday.

Day nine also sees two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova take on China’s Zhang Shuai, while former champion Novak Djokovic plays Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

Home favourite Fiona Ferro takes an eight-match winning streak into her centre-court showdown with No.4 seed Sofia Kenin while Hamburg champion Andrey Rublev, the No.13 seed, puts his equally impressive streak on the line against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

Junior action resumes on the outside courts while men's doubles quarter-finals and women's doubles third round clashes are also on the schedule.

Here’s what to look out for on Monday in Paris...

Greek-Bulgarian heavyweight fight

The match between Dimitrov and Greek Tsitsipas on Court Philippe-Chatrier is surely one of the most eagerly-anticipated encounters of the day. It pits two popular players against each other that each have a point to prove in Paris.

Tsitsipas, the world No.6, is trying to reach his first quarter-final at Roland-Garros in his fourth appearance, while the 29-year-old Bulgarian is hoping his 10th visit to Paris will finally see him reach the last eight.  


The pair, who both moved to the second week after their third-round opponents retired during the match, have never played each other before.

“I don't know much about him, to be honest, outside the court,” Dimitrov said. “I've clearly watched him play a lot of matches. He's been having very, very good results, playing good tennis on any surface.

I'm excited first of all to be in the second week of that tournament. It's a great feeling. I want to hold onto it and kind of focus on my side of the net.”

Kvitova’s golden opportunity

With title favourites like Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Kiki Bertens all out of the tournament, many eyes will be on Kvitova, who faces the 39th-ranked Zhang Shuai for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Although the 30-year-old Czech prefers faster surfaces, she is no mug on clay, having won five tournaments on the red dirt, and having reached the semi-final in Paris in 2012.

If she wins on Monday, she’ll face the winner of the match between world No.87 Laura Siegemund of Germany and the 66th-ranked Paula Badosa in the last eight.

Back in the second week of Roland-Garros for the first time in five years, Kvitova isn’t looking too far ahead just yet.

Petra Kvitova, Roland Garros 2020, third round© Julien Crosnier/FFT

“I know how many great players are still in the draw and playing great and everything,” she said, after beating Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the second round.

“I'm not a clay player, anyway. I mean, I'm enjoying playing on the clay, I grew up on the clay, but definitely there is more kind of specialists of the clay players here in the tournament.”

Zhang is the first player from China through to the fourth round since former champion Li Na in 2012.

“Always tough on clay for the Chinese player or Asian player because we play good on faster court,” said Zhang, who has beaten Kvitova twice in five career meetings.

Djokovic on a roll

Djokovic, the 2016 champion, has been in fine form, reaching the second week with the loss of just 15 games.

”If you impose yourself from the very beginning on the court, which I have in those first three matches here, then it makes it hard for them to really believe that they can come back and make a turnaround in the match,” said Djokovic after dispatching lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 in the third round.

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2020, 3e tour©Clément Mahoudeau / FFT

But the top-seeded Serb may face a bigger challenge in his next match, where he plays the powerful Khachanov.

Although Djokovic leads the No.16 seed 3-1 in career meetings, he lost their previous clash in Paris: a defeat in the final of the 2018 Paris Masters.

“It will be our first meeting on clay,” said Khachanov. “He's playing good on all surfaces. He proved it many times...I will try to prepare as best as possible, just to try to show my best. I will fight for sure every point. Will be interesting match, challenging match for me.”