The Washington Post

French Open could showcase S. Williams against Sharapova in fourth round


Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova could meet in the fourth round of the French Open thanks to the draw revealed Thursday.

Yet a matchup between threetime champion Williams and two-time champion Sharapova is far from guaranteed.

Williams resumes her comeback after maternity leave following two consecutiv­e losses in March. She will open against 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

This will be Williams’s first Grand Slam event since she gave birth to her daughter in September. She hasn’t played at a Grand Slam since she won the Australian Open in January 2017 while pregnant.

Ranked 453rd, Williams entered Roland Garros under the WTA’s protected ranking rule but has not been granted a seed by organizers. Without a seeding, Williams was drawn in the same quarter as Sharapova, who was seeded 28th.

The tournament starts Sunday.

In the men’s draw, 10-time champion and overwhelmi­ng favorite Rafael Nadal will open against Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Nadal is arriving in Paris on the back of another impressive clay-court season. He is 19-1 on his favorite surface, having lost only in the Madrid quarterfin­als this month against Dominic Thiem.

MEN: Two-time defending champion Stan Wawrinka and top-seeded Sam Querrey lost at the Geneva Open as the semifinals lineup was completed.

Wawrinka was swept aside by Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, 6-4, 6- 0, in the quarterfin­als for his first defeat in front of home fans at Geneva since 2015, just before he won the French Open.

Querrey lost in the second round, his opening match at the rain-hit tournament, to Guido Pella of Argentina, 7-5, 6-7 (8- 6), 7- 6 (7-4). . . .

Cameron Norrie of Britain recorded his first win over a top-10 player to reach the Lyon Open semifinals in France.

Norrie defeated 10th-ranked John Isner, 7- 6 (7-1), 6-4, at the clay-court warmup for the French Open. . . .

Argentine tennis player Nicolas Kicker has been found to have fixed two lower-tier matches in 2015.

His punishment is still to be determined. Until then, Kicker won’t be allowed to enter any pro tennis event sanctioned by the sport’s governing bodies. Kicker, 25, is ranked 85th in the world.

WOMEN: Two-time champion Kiki Bertens rallied to beat Mona Barthel of Germany, 6-7 (7-2), 6-2, 6-4, to advance to the Nuremberg Cup quarterfin­als in Germany. . . .

Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty advanced to the semifinals of the Strasbourg Internatio­nal in France by beating Wang Qiang, 7-5, 6-4.

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