French Open: Djokovic, Nadal, Serena in Saturday special

PARIS: Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams as well as nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and in-form Andy Murray serve up a Saturday special at the French Open.


World number one Djokokic, bidding for a first Roland Garros title to give him a career Grand Slam, tackles 19-year-old Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis as the third round concludes.

Djokovic, on a 24-match winning streak, has breezed through the first two rounds with his only concern being a nasty fall against Gilles Muller on Thursday which required treatment on his hip.

“Thankfully it’s nothing major. So it’s not a concern for the next match, which is the most important thing,” said the Serb.

Nadal, chasing a 10th Roland Garros crown, has been equally untroubled so far and he takes on Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov, the world number 120.

Kuznetsov had never won a match at the French Open before this year.

British third seed Murray, on a 12-0 run on clay in 2015, tackles Australian 29th seed Nick Kyrgios who hasn’t played singles since Monday after second round opponent Kyle Edmund withdrew with a stomach injury.

Murray has a 2-0 lead over Kyrgios including a quarter-final victory in straights sets in the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.

Women’s top seed Serena Williams, the 2002 and 2013 champion, had to come back from a set down to beat Germany’s world number 105 Anna-Lena Friedsam in the second round in a display she described as “unprofessional”.

On Saturday, she renews her rivalry with former world number one and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka who is seeded a relatively humble 27 this year.

Williams has a 15-3 advantage in career meetings with Azarenka including all three matches on clay.

Wimbledon champion and fourth seed Petra Kvitova gets action underway on Court Philippe Chatrier against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.

Kvitova has been stretched to three sets in both her matches so far but she won her only meeting with the 30th seed on clay in Madrid earlier this month.



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