Three to See on TC Plus: Venus, Sloane, Goffin start Sunday at #RG18

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Sloane Stephens begins her French Open against Arantxa Rus; Venus Williams opens against Qiang Wang. (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.

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1. Venus Williams [9] vs. Qiang Wang

In the last year and a half, Venus has reached the semifinals or better at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. The only missing piece of her mid-30s renaissance is the French Open. There she has lost in the fourth round each of the last two years, and she hasn’t reached the quarterfinals since 2006. The red clay of Paris seems to make Venus hit one more shot than she would like. Still, it had been years since Williams went deep in Melbourne before she made the final last year. 

Her Roland Garros draw this time—Jelena Ostapenko is the nearest high seed—gives her a chance to do the same over the next two weeks. Venus’s most interesting early test may come from Qiang Wang on Sunday. The 26-year-old native of Tianjin is ranked just 91st, but she pushed Venus to the brink at Wimbledon last year before falling in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Winner: V. Williams

2. Sloane Stephens [10] vs. Arantxa Rus

Sloane is the rare American who says—or who has said at one time in her career, anyway—that clay is her favorite surface. It makes sense; Stephens can do the two things you need to do on dirt: defend, and hit the ball through the court. From 2012 to 2015, she made the fourth round at Roland Garros four straight times, and the defending US Open champ is in a position to get back to that spot again this year; the only seed standing between her and the round of 16 is Anastasija Sevastova.

But Stephens will have to get past Arantxa Rus first. The Netherlands native is ranked 106, but she nearly knocked Sloane off in Acapulco earlier this year. Winner: Stephens

Racquet Bracket: Tennis Channel dissects the women's draw at Roland Garros

3. David Goffin [9] vs. Robin Haase

In the age of 32 seeds, a first-rounder between No. 9 and No. 44 counts as a highly competitive possibility. Goffin is the No. 9, of course, but at this point in his career the 27-year-old should be looking to go deeper than just the round of 16 in Paris. Clay is Goffin’s favorite surface, he reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros two years ago, and last year he finished a career-best No. 7. But Haase is a quality opponent whose two career titles have both come on clay, and he owns a win (against four defeats) over Goffin. Winner: Goffin

—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.

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