On Monday, all eyes will be on Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams

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Maria Sharapova's last win over Serena Williams at a Grand Slam tournament came at Wimbledon in 2004. (AP)

Before each day's play begins in Paris, we'll preview three must-see matches that you'll find on Tennis Channel Plus. Tennis Channel Plus features up to 10 courts of live action from Roland Garros beginning Sunday, May 27 at 5:00am ET. Catch up and watch all your favorite stars anytime, on-demand, with Tennis Channel Plus.

To subscribe to Tennis Channel Plus, go to BuyTCPlus.com


1. Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova [28]

Williams says Sharapova should be the favorite in this fourth-rounder because she’s “been playing for a year,” while Serena herself “just started.” In 98 percent of tennis matches, that would be relevant to the outcome. So would the fact that Sharapova just played her best match since rejoining the tour, a 59-minute blowout of Karolina Pliskova. But those things don’t matter, because this is Serena vs. Maria. The former is 19-2 against the latter, and the last time Maria won, Rafael Nadal had yet to win a single French Open. Whatever Maria can do, Serena can do better—and that starts, most importantly, with her serve. 

Can Serena still find motivation, at 36, to continue dominating Sharapova? Judging from her recent comments, it sounds as if she has already discovered all she needs from Sharapova’s 2017 autobiography. But that doesn’t really matter, either. Serena’s the favorite again because when these two play, she always takes her game to a place where Maria can’t follow. Winner: S. Williams

WATCH—Serena responds to what Sharapova said about her in her book: 

2. Juan Martin del Potro [5] vs. John Isner [9]

Two giants, both of whom have looked close to unstoppable so far, collide. The American has yet to be broken through three rounds, while the Argentine has dropped just one token, I-haven’t-woken-up-yet set: the first one he played in the first round.

Picking a winner between them is exceedingly difficult. Del Potro is the more accomplished player, has been to the semifinals at Roland Garros, and has a 6-4 career record against Isner. But Isner won their last two meetings, including one in Miami two months ago, and when he’s on, it doesn’t really matter how well the other guy is playing, or what surface they’re playing on—he remains one of only two players to take Rafael Nadal to a fifth set at the French Open.

Delpo will need to do more than slice his backhand, especially on his return; the good news is, he’s been driving through it so far in Paris. Maybe it will win him the one point, of the hundreds that will be played, that decides this potentially epic rock fight. Winner: Del Potro

3. Caroline Garcia [7] vs. Angelique Kerber [12]

While most eyes have been on Serena and Maria in Paris, Garcia and Kerber have slid through the first week almost undetected. But each was impressive in her last match: Garcia won easily over Irina-Camelia Begu, while Kerber took care of one of the tournament’s dark horses, Kiki Bertens, in two tiebreakers.

Kerber leads their head to head 4-2, but Garcia, at No. 8, is the higher-ranked player, and seems finally to have embraced the home-crowd support here—she’ll be playing to reach her second straight quarterfinal at Roland Garros. With Kerber’s defense matched up against Garcia’s all-court skills, this should make for a quality warm-up match before the WTA’s main event on Monday. Winner: Garcia


—Tennis Channel Plus features up to 10 courts of live action from Roland Garros beginning Sunday, May 27 at 5:00am ET.

—Catch up and watch all your favorite stars anytime on-demand with Tennis Channel Plus.

—When you buy Tennis Channel Plus, your 12-month subscription gets you access to every ATP Masters 1000 tournament played outside the U.S., and every round through the finals of WTA Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati.

(The availability of matches or events on TC Plus is subject to change.)

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