2021 French Open: What to Watch on Friday

How to watch: 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tennis Channel; streaming on Tennis Channel+ and the Peacock app.

The third spherical of the French Open begins on Friday, and 12 Americans will play singles matches within the subsequent two days. John Isner and Reilly Opelka, who’re seeded, can be trying to repair a current difficulty: There are not any American males ranked within the high 30 for the primary time in additional than 50 years. There are not any such points on the ladies’s facet, with Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams within the high 10 and 5 extra Americans behind them within the high 30.

Here are some matches to preserve a watch on.

Because of the variety of matches biking by courts, the occasions for particular person matchups are estimates and will fluctuate based mostly on when earlier play is accomplished. All occasions are Eastern.

Court Philippe-Chatrier | 6 a.m.

Victoria Azarenka vs. Madison Keys

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the 15th seed, reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2013, however has not been previous the third spherical since. In the previous yr, she reached the U.S. Open ultimate, however was additionally knocked out within the first spherical of the Australian Open. After injuring her again on the Madrid Open in early May, it was unclear whether or not Azarenka, 31, would have the opportunity to play at Roland Garros. So far, Azarenka, a former world No. 1, has carried out effectively, however she can be going through a formidable opponent within the third spherical.

Madison Keys of the United States, the 23rd seed, has additionally struggled in 2021, not successful consecutive matches till this week on the French Open. Keys, 26, reached the semifinals in 2018 and the quarterfinals in 2019, however misplaced within the first spherical final yr. Both gamers are hard-hitting baseliners. It ought to be an electrical match.

Court Philippe-Chatrier | 10 a.m.

Serena Williams vs. Danielle Collins

Serena Williams celebrated after successful an extended level in a troublesome match towards Mihaela Buzarnescu within the second spherical on Wednesday.Credit…Pete Kiehart for The New York Times

Serena Williams, the seventh seed, confirmed indicators of vulnerability within the second spherical towards Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania. After dropping the second set, Williams, 39, restricted her errors and ended up storming by the third set, 6-1, with a dominant efficiency returning serves. After some early-round exits through the clay-court swing, Williams should take each problem severely.

Danielle Collins, an American ranked No. 50, swept previous Anhelina Kalinina within the second spherical, dropping solely two video games. Collins, who had surgical procedure for endometriosis within the spring, didn’t play a event on clay in preparation for the French Open, however she has proven match health within the first two rounds. Collins, 27, can be a hard opponent for Williams. When the 2 met on hardcourts in January, Williams barely received in a third-set tiebreaker. Now, on a much less favorable floor, there may be the potential for an upset.

Court Philippe-Chatrier | three p.m.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. John Isner

John Isner has a booming serve, however his floor sport can be examined within the third spherical.Credit…Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

John Isner, the 31st seed, doesn’t have a sport that may historically favor clay. Isner, a 6-foot-10 American, has a booming serve that favors him on hardcourts and grass, however he has labored lately to enhance his floor sport. This helped him as he broke his second-round opponent, Filip Krajinovic, thrice within the second set. Now, Isner’s floor sport can be examined to its restrict as he seems to be for an upset.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, the fifth seed, has had a robust clay-court season, successful the Monte Carlo Masters and the Lyon Open and reaching the ultimate of the Barcelona Open. Tsitsipas, 22, swept by the primary two rounds of the French Open with out dropping a set, and is a favourite to attain the ultimate from his half of the draw. On Friday, he may have to discover a approach to regulate to Isner’s sturdy serve. If he can settle in on return video games and get some early breaks, he ought to have the opportunity to management the movement of the match.

Court 14 | 5 a.m.

Casper Ruud vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Casper Ruud, the 15th seed, has spent the previous few years flattening nationwide information that have been as soon as held by his father, Christian. This time, he’ll look to be the primary Norwegian participant to attain the spherical of 16 at a couple of Grand Slam occasion after doing so for the primary time on the Australian Open this yr. Ruud picked up his second ATP title, and his second on clay, in Geneva final week.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, ranked No. 46, struggled in a five-set match towards Botic van de Zandschulp within the second spherical. The match lasted three hours 42 minutes, with much more errors than winners coming from each gamers as they tried to grind out lengthy factors and exhaust one another. It can be a problem for Fokina, 21, to get well in time.

Here are just a few extra matches to preserve a watch on.

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; Court Simonne-Mathieu, 5 a.m.

Pablo Carreño Busta vs. Steve Johnson; Court Simonne-Mathieu, 10 a.m.

Daniil Medvedev vs. Reilly Opelka; Suzanne Lenglen Court, 10 a.m.

Paula Badosa vs. Ana Bogdan; Court Simonne-Mathieu, midday.