Day 5: Three things to look out for

An old rivalry, fired-up challenger, and another milestone in the offing. Whichever way you turn there's a treat in store.

Jelena Ostapenko, Roland Garros 2022, first round© Julien Crosnier/FFT
 - Stephanie Livaudais

There’s an intriguing, high-quality match-up everywhere you look on Thursday at Roland-Garros, and the best strategy may be to keep your head on a swivel – or grab a second and third screen.

Here are some of the showdowns we’ll be keeping an eye on as the second round comes to a close.

Settle in for some evening fireworks on Chatrier

With her career as a novelist taking off, French veteran Alize Cornet will hope to pen her most dramatic chapter yet when she faces No.13 seed Jelena Ostapenko in a popcorn Court Philippe-Chatrier night session.

There’s plenty of history between the former champion Ostapenko, who surprised the draw with her firepower in 2017, and Cornet, who made her Grand Slam debut on these courts as a 15-year-old in 2005.

While they haven’t met on clay, they split a 2-2 head-to-head record in singles and are familiar foes on the doubles court too. Ostapenko defeated Cornet in their most recent clash last year in Luxembourg, while Cornet partnered with Jil Teichmann to defeat Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok in Miami earlier this season.

The winner could potentially face another Roland-Garros champion in the next round: either 2018 winner Simona Halep or tournament debutante Zheng Qinwen, who play third on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Alizé Cornet, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2022©Philippe Montigny / FFT

Tiafoe out to halt Goffin’s momentum

Before Halep and Zheng’s match, fans on Mathieu will enjoy the perfect amuse-bouche as No.24 seed Frances Tiafoe faces David Goffin for a place in the third round.

The 24-year-old American won his first ever match at Roland-Garros in style on Tuesday, defeating home hope Benjamin Bonzi 7-5, 7-5, 7-6(5) on this very court. Tiafoe has found some of his best tennis of the season on clay courts, reaching the quarter-finals in Houston and his fourth career ATP final in Estoril.

But will it be enough to outlast Belgian veteran Goffin, who has lifted two of his six career titles on the surface – including one in Marrakech in the build-up to Roland-Garros?

The 31-year-old’s Grand Slam breakthrough came with a run to the quarter-finals here in 2016. After a tough stretch following a knee injury last season, Goffin looks primed to work his way back to form and on Thursday, he’ll have history on his side: he leads Tiafoe 3-1 in their head-to-head.

Swiatek looks to hit 30

Top seed and 2020 champion Iga Swiatek will be aiming to extend her jaw-dropping win streak to 30 matches when she faces American Alison Riske on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

The 20-year-old Pole has comfortably won both of her previous meetings with Riske, but will she be able to continue shouldering the spotlight as the tournament favourite?

Iga Swiatek, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2022 ©Cedric Lecocq / FFT

Over on Chatrier, Daniil Medvedev opens play against Serbia's Laslo Djere, who has enjoyed solid results during this clay-court swing while the No.2 seed was out recovering from hernia surgery.

Medvedev reached the quarter-finals here last year, breaking a streak of four consecutive first-round exits – has he regained enough form to make another deep run in Paris?

Also on tap: a Nordic derby between No.8 seed Casper Ruud of Norway and Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori on Court 14, another meeting between the in-form No.11 seed Jessica Pegula and rising Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina – their third of the year – on Court 7.

And it's one more match on Chatrier for the outgoing Gilles Simon – who retires at the end of the season – against Steve Johnson.