Karolina Pliskova finally notched her first win in four meetings against Petra Martic at this year's Miami Open. Martic had beaten the current World No.2 three times between 2009 and 2013, twice in Challenger events and once at 2013 Wimbledon. But after a six-year hiatus, they played again in Miami in March, and Pliskova claimed the victory in straight sets.
Pliskova enters Roland Garros fresh off a title run last week at Rome, which was her third career clay-court title. Pliskova has reached the quarterfinals or better at 7 of the last 10 Grand Slams – more than any other player on tour. Her best Roland Garros performance is her run to the semifinals in 2017.
Martic is now tied for the most main draw wins on clay this season, with 13 (level with Kiki Bertens and Maria Sakkari) and would claim sole possession of first place in that statistic for the time being if she can upset Pliskova. Five of those wins led to her first-ever WTA singles title at Istanbul in April.
Elina Svitolina leads 2016 French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza 5-3 in their rivalry (5-1 at tour-level). Their first-ever meeting came at Roland Garros in 2012, but it was in the qualifying rounds; Muguruza won that match in straight sets. Their most recent meeting went Svitolina's way, a straight-set victory in the round of 16 at Dubai in February.
Muguruza defeated Serena Williams in the 2016 Roland Garros final for her first Grand Slam championship. The Spaniard won her second Grand Slam title by beating Venus Williams in the 2017 Wimbledon final. With that Wimbledon victory, Muguruza became the only player to defeat both Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals.
Sloane Stephens is 3-0 against Polona Hercog (6-0 in sets) and her most recent win over the Slovene came earlier this month in the first round of Madrid. The second set of that match was one of Stephens's WTA-leading 11 tiebreak victories of 2019 (against only two tiebreaks lost this year).
Hercog is just 1-23 against Top 10 players in her career, but comes into her third-round match with an 8-3 record on clay in 2019, including winning her third career WTA singles title at Lugano in April -- her first title since 2012.
Marketa Vondrousova and Carla Suárez Navarro will meet for the first time on Friday. 19-year-old Vondrousova is the oldest of the three teenagers to have reached the third round this week, alongside Iga Swiatek, who turns 18 on Friday, and 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old Suárez Navarro has copious Grand Slam experience: this is the 25th Grand Slam third-round showing of her career. The Spaniard has reached the quarterfinals in Paris twice -- in her 2008 tournament debut as a qualifier, and again in 2014.
Rome runner-up Johanna Konta will face Viktoria Kuzmova for the first time. Konta is 5-0 in Grand Slam third-round matches in her career, but this is her first time contesting a third-round tilt at Roland Garros. The British No.1 was 0-4 in the French Open main draw prior to this week.
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BBC guest columnist Elina Svitolina discusses her upcoming match with Garbiñe Muguruza and how challenging it is to pick a prospective Roland Garros champion.
Steve Tignor at tennis.com breaks down the marquee match where current World No.1 Naomi Osaka fought back to overcome former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka.
wtatennis.com has an exclusive interview with Aliona Bolsova as the former junior standout has a breakout Grand Slam showing this week.
More Thursday news from wtatennis.com: