June 3, 2017 / 2:08 AM / 2 months ago

French players looking to ride 'Kiki' wave at Roland Garros

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Jun 2, 2017; Paris, France; Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) reacts during her match against Shelby Rogers (USA) (not pictured) on day six of the 2017 French Open tennis tournament at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS (Reuters) - After Kristina "Kiki" Mladenovic took the home crowd by storm during an epic battle on Friday, French players will be looking to join the new darling of Roland Garros in the French Open fourth round on Saturday.

Richard Gasquet plays compatriot Gael Monfils in an all- French third-round match on Court Philippe Chatrier, both men having eased through the draw despite lacking match practice on clay because of injuries.

Slideshow (3 Images)

Opening proceedings on the main showcourts will be Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, who faces ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, while on Court One, 28th seed Caroline Garcia will start as favourite against Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei.

World number one Andy Murray is also in action on Chatrier against injury-prone Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentine, a fierce rival who will need to be at his best physically to unsettle the Briton.

Third seed Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, faces a tricky match against Italian 28th seed Fabio Fognini and Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori is expected to advance at the expense of South Korea's Chung Hyeon.

In the women's draw, one of the pre-tournament favourites, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, takes on Pole Magda Linette and former runner-up Simona Halep is up against Russian Daria Kasatkina.

Editing by Ed Osmond

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