Today’s Trivia Question: If Bellis beats Wozniacki, she’ll be the youngest American woman to reach the second week at the French Open since Venus and Serena in 1998. Who did they lose to that year?
1. Week 1 wraps up today. The last wave of third round matches, including a pair of blockbusters on the men’s side - Murray against del Potro and Wawrinka against Fognini - take the terre battue.
2. Murray and del Potro are playing at a major for the first time in almost nine years. The pair’s only previous Grand Slam meeting came all the way back in the quarters of the 2008 US Open, where Murray finally ended del Potro’s 23-match summer winning streak in a tight one, 7-6(2) 7-6(1) 4-6 7-5.
3. Del Potro’s playing his 100th Grand Slam match. Del Potro is playing the 100th Grand Slam match of his career, with a 71-28 record. Murray, who’s about the same age but who hasn’t had anywhere near the injury struggles, is playing his 223rd Grand Slam match, with a 181-41 record.
4. Del Potro’s trying to become the first player ever to do THIS. If del Potro beats Murray, he’ll become the first player ever to beat every member of the Big Four while they’re ranked No.1. He has three wins over Djokovic as No.1, two wins over Nadal as No.1 and three wins over Federer as No.1.
5. Wawrinka will be on high alert against Fognini. Wawrinka leads the head-to-head at tour-level, 4-1, and 5-1 in all meetings, but Fognini’s been lifting his game against the best lately - he’s won two of his three matches against Top 5 players this year (beating Nishikori in Miami and Murray in Rome).
6. The two women who can take No.1 from Kerber are on court. Pliskova, who will be No.1 with a final, and Halep, who will be No.1 with a title, are both in action. Before last year’s US Open, Pliskova had never been to the second week of a major - she’s a win away from her third second week in a row.
7. Isner’s the last American man standing. With Johnson out yesterday, Isner is the last American man in the draw. He has a first-time meeting with Khachanov today - if he wins it’ll be his third time into the fourth round here, having gone that far in 2014 (losing to Berdych) and 2016 (losing to Murray).
8. Feliz Cumpleanos Rafa! Nadal, who’s on a day off between matches today, turns 31 today.
9. Guga drew that heart on the court 16 years ago. On June 3, 2001, after coming back from two sets to love down to beat Russell, Kuerten drew a big heart on the court to show his appreciation for the French fans at Roland Garros. And he drew another heart for them after winning the title that year.
10. Week 2 kicks off tomorrow. The bottom half of the men’s draw, including Djokovic and Nadal, and the top half of the women’s draw, which includes Venus, play their fourth round matches Sunday.
Yesterday’s Trivia Answer: The last player other than the Big Four who was ranked inside the Top 2 was Lleyton Hewitt, who was No.2 the week of July 18, 2005.
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