PARIS – In a wide-open French Open women's draw, Kristina Mladenovic leads home hopes into Tuesday's quarter-finals while former world number one Caroline Wozniacki tackles ballroom dancing Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.
Uncharted territory ahead for Wozniacki, Ostapenko
Caroline Wozniacki or Jelena Ostapenko have the chance to break new ground with a semi-final berth at stake. Two-time US Open runner-up Wozniacki is through to the last eight at Roland Garros for the first time since 2010. For Ostapenko, who turns 20 on Thursday, this marks the first time she has advanced to the second week at a Grand Slam. But the Latvian will fancy her chances of extending her breakthrough run after defeating the Dane twice already on clay this year, in Prague and Charleston.
Wozniacki's status as world number one – a rank she held for 67 weeks from 2010 to 2012 – was overshadowed by her failure to capture one of the sport's top prizes. Her last title came at the Hong Kong Open in October, although she has reached finals this year in Doha, Dubai and Miami.
Head-to-head: Ostapenko leads 3-0
Wozniacki says: "I feel like I can play well on any surface, and I really believe that. I have won tournaments on the red clay, too, so it's not like it's foreign to me."
Ostapenko says: "When I was growing up, my idol was Serena, because I really like the way she played, and she's like a great champion. So I was kind of following her the whole time. When I was a child just always watching her matches."
Wozniacki: Age – 26; World ranking – 12; Prize money – $23,300,424; Career titles – 25; Grand Slam titles – 0; French Open best – Quarter-final (2010, 2017)
Ostapenko: Age – 19; World ranking – 47; Prize money – $1,288,260; Career titles – 0; Grand Slam titles – 0; French Open best – Quarter-final (2017)
Path to the quarter-finals:
1st rd: bt Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Francoise Abanda (CAN) 6-0, 6-0
3rd rd: bt Catherine Bellis (USA) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
4th rd: bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
1st rd: bt Louisa Chirico (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Monica Puig (PUR) 6-3, 6-2
3rd rd: bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-1, 6-4
4th rd: bt Samantha Stosur (AUS x23) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
Mladenovic and Bacsinszky have grudge
French star Kiki Mladenovic, the 13th seed who knocked out defending champion Garbine Muguruza in the last-16, is looking to be the first home semi-finalist in six years against 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky who made the last-four in 2015.
Earlier this year, Mladenovic accused Bacsinszky of gamesmanship after losing a tense three-set battle in the Fed Cup. Bacsinszky drew the ire of her French rival after seeking medical help for a knee injury during a critical passage midway through the deciding set. When she returned, she took a 21-shot rally and claimed eight of the next nine points to seize control of the match. A day earlier, Bacsinszky had left the court during her win over Alize Cornet – for treatment to a wasp sting.
Head-to-head: Level at 1-1
Mladenovic says: "It's not, you know, because it's Timea that I must get my revenge (for the Fed Cup loss). That's not my mindset."
Bacsinszky says: "Everyone knows Swiss cheese is so much better than French cheese, and that Gruyere cheese does not have holes. You call it Emmental. You are imposters. Gruyere is a place in Switzerland with a castle there."
Mladenovic: Age – 24; World ranking – 14; Prize money – $6,156,328; Career titles – 1; Grand Slam titles – 0, French Open best – Quarter-final (2017)
Bacsinszky: Age – 27; World ranking – 31; Prize money – $5,332,501; Career titles – 4; Grand Slam titles – 0; French Open best – Semi-final (2015)
Path to the quarter-final:
1st rd: bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 9-7
2nd rd: bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-2, 6-3
3rd rd: bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-5, 4-6, 8-6
4th rd: bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x4) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
1st rd: bt Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-1, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-0, 6-2
3rd rd: bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-2, 6-2
4th rd: bt Venus Williams (USA x30) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1