By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) – Title contenders Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina face tricky fourth-round tests on Monday as they hope to set up a quarter-final date against each other at the French Open.
On a glorious Parisian morning, Romanian third seed Halep opens proceedings on Court Philippe Chatrier against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, while Ukrainian fifth seed Svitolina opens on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Croatia’s Petra Martic.
Martic, who is looking to become the first qualifier to reach the last eight in Paris since 2012, is no pushover, however, as her low ranking is the result of a back injury.
Here, she beat 12th seed Madison Keys and demolished 17th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 6-1 en route to the fourth round — a stage she also reached in 2012.
Halep, a Roland Garros runner up in 2014, will be wary of the threat posed by Suarez Navarro, who has one of the finest single-handed backhands on the tour and reached the last eight in Paris as a qualifier in 2008.
Later on Monday, world number one Andy Murray takes on rising Russian Karen Kachanov and the crowd will be rooting for Gael Monfils against 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.
After Kristina Mladenovic qualified on Sunday, a second French woman will reach the quarter-finals as Alize Cornet faces Caroline Garcia.
(Editing by John O’Brien)