Menu

Tennis

Who has the edge in Tuesday's French Open quarterfinal showdowns?

french-open-quarterfinal-preview-maria-sharapova-novak-djokovic-eugenie-bou

Tuesday marks the first of two days of quarterfinal action at the French Open. Here's a quick look at the matches on tap.

Garbine Muguruza vs. No. 7 Maria Sharapova

How they got here: Muguruza beat Grace Min, No. 1 Serena Williams, Anna Schmiedlova and Paula Parmentier. Sharapova beat Ksenia Pervak, Tsvetana Pironkova, Paula Ormaechea and No. 19 Sam Stosur.

Reason to like Muguruza: She's the clear-cut darling of the tournament. Not only did she stun Serena -- No. 1 in the world and defending champ in Paris, but she handed her the worst defeat of Williams' career in a Slam. She has since backed it up with two more easy wins. It's possible we're witnessing the breakout of this 20-year-old talent who has reached her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Reason to like Sharapova: Because she has been here before. Sharapova won the title at Roland Garros in 2012 and was runner-up to Serena in 2013. She's also 17-3 for her career in Grand Slam quarterfinals, a level of success and experience that will be vital on the big stage.

Prediction: The gutsy pick is Muguruza, but the rising talent hasn't exactly gone through a gauntlet since the win over Serena. But she won't sneak up on Maria, and though she may well pull this one out -- certainly Sharapova has had her share of head-scratching losses -- the Russian seems locked in and ready to capitalize on the massive opportunity in front of her.

No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro vs. No. 18 Eugenie Bouchard

How they got here: Navarro defeated Yuliya Beygelzimer, Timea Bacsinszky, Taylor Townsend and Ajla Tomljanovic. Bouchard took care of Shahar Peer, Julia Goerges, Johanna Larsson and No. 8 Angelique Kerber.

Reason to like Suarez Navarro: She's getting stronger as the tournament goes along. In the last two rounds, she has coolly dispatched two of the better stories of this French Open. First was Townsend, the young American, then came Tomljanovic, who had beaten No. 3 Agnieszka Radwasnka in the previous round.

Reason to like Bouchard: It's a Canadian tennis star! Bouchard is becoming a fan favorite thanks to her selfie game and thoughts on Justin Bieber. She's also killing it on the court lately, absolutely trouncing Kerber in their fourth-round showdown.

Prediction: Despite being just 20 years old, it's actually Bouchard with the winning experience at a Grand Slam quarterfinal. She made it to the semis earlier this year at the Australian Open. Suarez Navarro has been good but hasn't faced a seeded player yet. Look for the rising Bouchard to take another step toward stardom.

No. 6 Tomas Berdych vs. No. 18 Ernests Gulbis

How they got here: Berdych topped Peter Polansky, Aleksandr Nedovyesov, No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 10 John Isner. Gulbis knocked out Lukas Kubot, Facundo Bagnis, Radek Stepanek and No. 4 Roger Federer.

Reason to like Berdych: He's one of the best players in tennis without a major title to his name, and he's a win from equaling his best ever performance at a tournament in which he has traditionally not excelled.

Reason to like Gulbis: Once a trendy pick as the Next Big Thing, he still shows flashes of it. Taking out Federer in a five-set affair was a big moment for him, and it could provide the fuel to go even further.

Prediction: This is the first time Gulbis has been past the third round at a major in six years. Berdych is quite used to it. Gulbis has the tools to win this, but we like Berdych to advance.

No. 8 Milos Raonic vs. No. 2 Novak Djokovic

How they got here: Raonic beat Nick Kyrgios, Jiri Vesely, No. 29 Gilles Simon and Marcel Granollers. Djokovic defeated Joao Sousa, Jeremy Chardy, No. 25 Marin Cilic and No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Reason to like Raonic: We may not yet know his ceiling. The 23-year-old has never been this far at a Grand Slam, but many have his name on the short list of people ready to take the torch from the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Reason to like Djokovic: That torch hasn't been passed yet. Djokovic was a trendy pick to dethrone Nadal when the tournament began, and save for a lost tiebreak against Cilic, he hasn't blinked at all in the first week.

Prediction: With the way Djokovic dismantled the home favorite Tsonga in the previous round, Raonic will be lucky to extend this to four sets. Djokovic should win big.