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Beyond the Baseline

French Open Day 4 matches to watch: Venus, Serena one win from sister clash

Serena Williams Serena Williams faces up-and-comer Garbine Muguruza in the second round. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

PARIS — Here are the storylines and matches to watch on Day 4 of the French Open. Play begins at 5 a.m. ET and will be aired by ESPN2 before Tennis Channel takes over at 10 a.m. Click here for the order of play, and see the full TV schedule here.

Storylines

Serena and Venus Williams on collision course: If the two sisters win Wednesday, they would clash Friday in their earliest meeting at any tournament since 1998, when they played in the second round of the Australian Open. Venus opens play on Court Philippe Chatrier against No. 56 Anna Schmiedlova. Serena has a trickier match against No. 35 Garbine Muguruza, a talented 20-year-old Spaniard, on Court Suzanne Lenglen (second match).

Early test for Novak Djokovic?: The Serb's second-round opponent, Jeremy Chardy, has always had top-20 talent but he struggled with confidence and, as a result, inconsistency. The 27-year-old Frenchman, ranked No. 42, is coming off a great week in Rome, where he stunned Roger Federer in the first round and made the fourth round. That said, he's never taken a set off Djokovic in eight matches.

Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer also in action: Both looked sharp in their openers and shouldn't have too much of a challenge in the second round. Sharapova is 4-0 against No. 42 Tsvetana Pironkova (fourth match, Court Philippe Chatrier), who has had her success on quick surfaces (read: not clay). Federer plays No. 109 Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (third match, Court Suzanne Lenglen), a 21-year-old Argentine qualifier who won his first Grand Slam match in the first round. Federer is on a 19-match winning streak against qualifiers at majors.

Matches to watch

Benoit Paire vs. Roberto Bautista Agut [27] (first match, Court 1): Bautista Agut -- a 26-year-old Spaniard who has climbed from No. 73 to No. 29 since early January -- is the most talented seed you probably haven't seen much of and he could be dangerous in this tournament. A win could pit him against No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the third round. He's 3-0 against Paire, with all three victories on hard courts over the last two years.

Ernests Gulbis [18] vs. Facundo Bagnis (first match, Court 2): Does No. 143 Bagnis have another miracle left in his young legs? The 24-year-old Argentine qualifier outlasted Julien Benneteau 18-16 in the fifth set to record his first win at a Slam. Gulbis is in good form, but he hasn't made it past the second round in Paris since 2008.

Eugenie Bouchard [18] vs. Julia Goerges (first match, Court 7): I give Goerges a decent chance at the upset now that she's finally found some form after a horrendous 12 months. The 25-year-old German, down to No. 107, beat Sloane Stephens at the Strasbourg International last week. Despite winning the Nuremburg Cup last week, Bouchard is always vulnerable on clay.

Varvara Lepchenko vs. Angelique Kerber [8] (second match, Court 2): Here's my upset pick of the day. Kerber hasn't beaten a player ranked higher than No. 58 Lepchenko since Fed Cup in mid-April.

Taylor Townsend vs. Alize Cornet [20] (fourth match, Court Suzanne Lenglen): So here's Townsend's Grand Slam debut: Win your first match and then get a spot on one of the best show courts in the world against the hometown No. 1. I'm curious to see how the 18-year-old American handles the moment.

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