Day 7: Three to watch

Week 2 beckons and the last fourth-round spots will be filled on Saturday.

Andreeva - Gauff
 - Nick McCarvel

The middle weekend of Roland-Garros 2023 has arrived, and – with it – hope of a deep run at a major for the 32 singles players set to take the court on Day 7.

All of the men in action on Saturday are in search of their first major; the bottom half of the draw offers a glimpse of a championship berth in Paris.

The next generation has truly arrived, too: among those in action, only Grigor Dimitrov at 32 and Lesia Tsurenko at 34 are north of the 30-year-old mark.

Gauff vs Andreeva: teens eye sweet 16

The tables have turned for No.6 seed Coco Gauff, with the 19-year-old set to be not only the favourite against 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, but also the more experienced of the two when they meet for a fourth-round spot.

Andreeva has no doubt been the breakout story of the spring clay season, her WTA debut at Madrid last month now backed up by not just qualifying in Paris but winning her first two rounds – convincingly.

Gauff, dangerously, is playing herself into form after a pedestrian clay lead-up.

Andreeva’s youth, though, is not something Gauff is thinking about. “I don't see age as a factor, to be honest,” the 2022 runner-up told reporters. “You have to play her as you would play any other person that's grown and strong. She's proved her position here.”

Is this their first of many meetings?

Coco Gauff, Roland-Garros 2023, second round© Philippe Montigny/FFT

Saturday night lights: Zverev v Tiafoe

This fortnight is full circle for Alexander Zverev, who crashed out of his semi-final with Rafael Nadal last year with damaged ankle ligaments that required surgery – and didn't play again in 2022.

He arrives near to his best again, but American Frances Tiafoe has only grown in confidence himself in the last 12 months, off the back of his run to the US Open semis and his first red clay title in April.

While Tiafoe is favoured as the No.12 seed, the German, seeded No.22, has been ranked as high as No.2 and has a sterling 6-1 head-to-head record over 'Big Foe'. They’ve never met on clay, however.

Zverev made a return to Court Philippe-Chatrier in his second round, a pivotal moment after last year’s nightmare: “I hadn't been out there at all since the accident,” he said. “[That was] quite important for me. I am extremely excited to be playing on that court again.”

Bibi's back? Andreescu gaining steam

Believe it or not, Roland-Garros 2023 marks the first time that 2019 US Open champ Bianca Andreescu has advanced to the third round at any major outside New York City.

And 'Bibi' only wants to go deeper.

Tsurenko, who made her debut here in 2011 and reached the fourth round back in 2018, now stands in her way. The Ukrainian has already beaten Andreescu (albeit via retirement) earlier this year in Thailand.


This is when Andreescu can become especially dangerous: the Canadian loves a grand stage, and has used the buoyant French crowd to her advantage in her first two wins, including in round one on this same Court Simonne-Mathieu against Victoria Azarenka.

“Playing in front of crowds like this makes the time on court even more enjoyable,” a beaming Bianca said after, adding auspiciously: “I think a lot of the times I can put on a good show.”

Bianca Andreescu, Roland-Garros 2023, first round© Julien Crosnier/FFT