June 2, 2017 / 2:36 AM / in 2 months

Muguruza, Mladenovic looking to set up Paris date

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Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - 31/5/17 France's Kristina Mladenovic reacts during her second round match against Italy's Sara Errani Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Home favourite Kristina Mladenovic and defending French Open champion Garbine Muguruza will generate a sense of excitement in the women's draw at Roland Garros on Friday when they take to the court for their respective third round matches.

Should both win, as expected, they will face each other for a place in the quarter-finals.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Spain's fourth seed Muguruza plays Kazakh 27th seed Yulia Putintseva while Mladenovic, seeded 13th, will hope she is not bothered by her back problem against American Shelby Rogers.

In the men's draw, nine-time champion Rafa Nadal of Spain is up against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, who reached the final of the Lyon Open last weekend.

Holder Novak Djokovic is also in action against Argentine Diego Schwartzmann, who is playing his first third-round match in a grand slam.

Austrian rising star Dominic Thiem, the sixth seed, takes on American Steve Johnson.

After the start of the tournament was played in fine weather, hail storms are forecast for the afternoon in Paris on Friday.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris

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