French Open lookahead: Owners of 49 Slams take center court
PARIS (AP) The nearly 15,000 tennis fans holding a ticket for Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday should consider themselves particularly fortunate.
There's quite a lineup, with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova - owners of a combined 49 Grand Slam singles titles - all scheduled to play in the French Open's fourth round.
Defending champion Sharapova and 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova start things off with a match postponed entirely Sunday after a rain delay of about 2 1/2 hours disrupted action.
Next up are Federer and 13th-seeded Gael Monfils, the entertainer-at-heart from France, who will pick things up at a set apiece after being halted Sunday night because of fading light.
No. 1-ranked Williams and 40th-ranked Sloane Stephens will follow in an all-American rematch of the 2013 Australian Open quarterfinal won by Stephens.
And closing the day in the main stadium at Roland Garros: the top-seeded Djokovic, aiming to complete a career Grand Slam, against 20th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France.
There are seven other singles matches on tap, too, including nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal vs. Jack Sock, who at 22 is the youngest American man to reach the fourth round in Paris since Pete Sampras was 21 in 1993.
''I'm not really one to get a whole lot of nerves before big matches,'' said the 37th-ranked Sock, who was born in Nebraska and grew up in Kansas City. ''I more look forward to it.''
Here's a look at what's happening at the French Open on Monday, when the forecast calls for dry weather:
The winners of Djokovic-Gasquet (Djokovic has won 10 of 11 meetings) and Nadal-Sock (first encounter) will play in the quarterfinals. Another matchup in the final eight will be determined by the outcomes of two-time major champion Andy Murray vs. France's Jeremy Chardy, and reigning U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic vs. No. 7 David Ferrer. Cilic, by the way, has been broken only once in 40 service games so far in Paris. On the other half of the draw, 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka awaits the winner of Federer-Monfils, while the other quarterfinal is set: No. 5 Kei Nishikori vs. No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Sharapova or Safarova will advance to play the winner of another match postponed Sunday, No. 21 Garbine Muguruza vs. No. 28 Flavia Pennetta. On the other side of the draw, Williams or Stephens - who eliminated Williams' older sister Venus in the first round - will move on to face 2012 runner-up Sara Errani or Julia Goerges. Another quarterfinal will be filled by the players who emerge from these matches Monday: two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova vs. No. 23 Timea Bacinszky, and 93rd-ranked Alison Van Uytvanck vs. 100th-ranked Andreea Mitu. That's the first time in 10 years that two women ranked outside the top 90 meet in the round of 16 at the French Open.
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich