Three to See: 2015 French Open, Day 7

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Serena and Vika will get together again after a memorable match in Madrid. (AP)

Before each day of play at Roland Garros, we'll preview and predict three must-see matches.

Serena Williams [1] vs. Victoria Azarenka [27]

The only thing left to say here is: Let’s see what happens. Each of these women has had something of a roller-coaster ride through the clay season. Azarenka double-faulted her way out of a seemingly sure win over Serena in Madrid, and then was soundly beaten by Maria Sharapova in Rome. As for Serena, she was also soundly beaten by Petra Kvitova in Madrid, and was way off her game again in her second-round match in Paris. Where that will leave them when they face off late on Saturday in Chatrier is anybody’s guess. But Serena’s 15-3 record (and 3-0 record on clay), against Azarenka has to count for something. Winner: S. Williams

Novak Djokovic [1] vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis

The world No. 1 has never played the world No. 84, but we don’t need a head-to-head history to know who the heavy favorite will be in this third-rounder. Speaking to the press on Thursday, Kokkinakis admitted that Djokovic has been virtually unbeatable this year. The top seed also hasn’t dropped a set in his first two matches, and he should only be helped by the slow clay in Chatrier. Even if the result ends up being a foregone conclusion, it will be interesting to see how the seemingly fearless 18-year-old Aussie makes the transition from the side courts to the big show. This will be a different world for him in more ways than one. Winner: Djokovic

Andy Murray [3] vs. Nick Kyrgios [29]

The slightly older Aussie du jour has already knocked off Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but Murray has been a different story so far. In two straight-set wins, Murray’s excellent return and ultra-consistent counterpunching has tied the big-hitting Kyrgios in knots, and left him with few openings or options. This surface should only exacerbate that situation. But the electric-armed Kyrgios puts a charge into every arena he enters, and that will be true in Lenglen on Saturday. The fans should at least get a kick out of his hair. Winner: Murray

PLUS: Jack Sock vs. Borna Coric

Young and younger. The 22-year-old Sock and the 18-year-old Coric will meet for the first time, on Court 2. Each seems to be at the peak of his short career right now. Sock beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets and followed it with a gritty win over Spanish clay-courter Pablo Carreño Busta. If anything, Coric was even grittier in beating Tommy Robredo in five sets, which is not an easy thing for anyone to do. This match will pit the American’s rocket-fueled forehand against the Croat’s speed, solid all-around play, and precocious self-belief. It should be a good one, but I’m going to say the forehand wins for now. Winner: Sock


For more 2015 French Open coverage, go to our tournament page:

 
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