French Open Day 8 matches to watch: Federer-Gulbis, Sharapova-Stosur set
PARIS – Here are the matches to watch on Day 8 of the French Open. Play begins at 5 a.m. ET. Tennis Channel will have coverage from 5 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by NBC from 1-4 p.m. Click here for the order of play, and see the full TV schedule here.
Note: Two men's third-round matches suspended by darkness on Saturday will be completed on Sunday. Andy Murray and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who are tied 7-7 in the fifth set, are the second match on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Fernando Verdasco and Richard Gasquet are the second match on Court Philippe Chatrier. Verdasco leads the Frenchman 6-3, 6-2, 2-2.
Roger Federer  vs. Ernests Gulbis  (third match, Court Philippe Chatrier): One thing missing from Gulbis' revival -- he's climbed from outside the top 130 to inside the top 20 over the last 15 months -- has been a deep run at a Grand Slam tournament. The 25-year-old Latvian has a chance for a signature victory against Federer in the fourth round. Gulbis has been to one major quarterfinal (the 2008 French Open); Federer has been to 41, tied with Jimmy Connors for the most in the Open era, and nine in a row at Roland Garros. "I'm not scared of that match at all," Gulbis said of the prospect of facing Federer. "I'm really confident." Federer leads the head-to-head 2-1, but all three matches came in 2010.
Maria Sharapova  vs. Sam Stosur  (fifth match, Court Suzanne Lenglen): The good news for Stosur is that she's been playing very well this week, including a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in the third round. The bad news is that the 2010 French Open finalist is 2-13 against Sharapova, who has looked the part of a favorite here so far. Sharapova, the 2012 champion, beat Stosur 6-4, 6-3 on clay at the Madrid Open in early May. The winner plays either No. 35 Garbine Muguruza or a French wild card, No. 145 Pauline Parmentier, in the quarterfinals.
Tomas Berdych  vs. John Isner  (third match, Court Philippe Chatrier): Isner is seeking to become the first U.S. men's quarterfinalist since Andre Agassi in 2003. The statistics from his 7-6 (13), 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory over 2013 quarterfinalist Tommy Robredo on Friday were eye-popping: Isner saved all 13 break points he faced, hit 77 winners and 74 unforced errors, broke the Spaniard once and won three fewer points. That one break was big, though, as it came at 5-all in the fourth set and helped Isner avoid having to drain more energy playing a fifth set (the match lasted 3 hours and 18 minutes). Isner will need all of his reserves against Berdych, who has won four of six in the series. Both of their clay meetings came in 2010, including at the French Open, where Berdych dominated 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.
Novak Djokovic  vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  (fourth match, Court Philippe Chatrier): Can Tsonga rise to the occasion? The Frenchman hasn't beaten a player ranked higher than 13th since Roland Garros last year, when he made the semifinals. He's also lost nine matches in a row to Djokovic, who is attempting to reach his 20th consecutive major quarterfinal.Angelique Kerber  vs. Eugenie Bouchard  (first match, Court Philippe Chatrier): Bouchard has won eight straight clay matches, but none was against a top-50 player. This will be a step up in class, as Kerber is in the fourth round in Paris for the third consecutive year. Kerber won their only meeting, at the 2013 U.S. Open. The winner will play either 14th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro or No. 72 Ajla Tomljanovic, who upset No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round.