French Open Day 4 preview

Stephanie Myles

PARIS – Little sister Serena, the defending champion, is scheduled for the second-biggest court, Court Suzanne Lenglen, while big sister Venus, the No. 29 seed and no longer a contender for major titles, gets Court Philippe Chatrier as Day 4 gets under way at Roland Garros.

There wasn't anything like the same kind of fuss made over that court assignment as there was when defending men's champ Rafael Nadal hit Lenglen for his first-round match. She takes on Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain, one of the tall young up-and-comers in the women's game. But in the end, all the top players typically take one turn over there and on this day, there is a lot of local interest – i.e. French players – that requires show court time.

American interests: Beyond the sisters, young Taylor Townsend, who won the race for the USTA wild card straight into the event and defeated countrywoman Vania King in the first round, also gets Court Suzanne Lenglen as she meets the No. 20 seed, Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet.

No. 2 American Steve Johnson – Steve WHO, you ask? – has to come back out on Court 7 to try to complete a comeback that went late into the evening Tuesday against French qualifier Laurent Rokoli. Johnson lost the first two sets and led 3-1 in the third when it finally got too dark to see.

Varvara Lepchenko takes on No. seed Angelique Kerber of Germany. Sam Querrey plays No. 31 seed Dmitry Tursunov. No. 10 seed John Isner gets a tricky customer in Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakstan on Court 6, a court that may be too small to contain him.

As well, the Bryan brothers open their French Open campaign against the German team of Martin Emmrich and Christopher Kas.

Upset possibilities: Young Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who takes on No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, reached the final of the tournament in Nürnberg last week, losing to Canadian Genie Bouchard. She can serve; so can her twin sister, the lefthanded Kristyna. ... Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, based at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla. and also blessed with a serve, takes on No. 32 seed Elena Vesnina of Russia. Just turned 21, Tomljanovic is ranked No. 72 and easily defeated former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round.

Weather forecast: Cloudy in the morning, showers in the afternoon, rain early in the evening. Or not. In weather-speak, that's the "we don't have a clue" prognostication.