Giants Clash & Nadal Continues Quest On Day 9
A certain 10-time champion continues his quest, while giants collide on Court Suzanne-Lenglen and a 5’7″ Argentine eyes another Grand Slam breakthrough. It’s all happening on Day 9 at Roland Garros.
 Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Maximilian Marterer (GER)
First FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting
The quest for La Undécima rolls on. Nadal blasted into the Round of 16 without dropping a set and has endured little resistance thus far. But that could all change against Germany’s unseeded star Maximilian Marterer, who is hoping his fairytale run on the terre battue has another moment of magic in it.
While Nadal will certainly be the favourite as they take to Court Philippe-Chatrier, Marterer will be eager to carry the momentum from his second-round upset of Denis Shapovalov and dominant display against Jurgen Zopp on Saturday. Having never won a Grand Slam match entering the year, the 22-year-old followed up a third round result at the Australian Open with an appearance in the second week in Paris.
Despite Marterer’s strong run of form, Nadal will have history on his side when they meet for the first time. The Spaniard has reached the quarter-finals in 11 of 13 appearances at Roland Garros and owns a perfect 17-0 mark against German opponents on clay. In fact, he has lost just two sets in total – to Daniel Brands at Roland Garros in 2013 and to Alexander Zverev two weeks ago in Rome.
 Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) vs.  John Isner (USA)
Del Potro leads FedEx ATP Head2Head 6-4
It will be a clash of giants when 6’6″ Del Potro duels with 6’10” Isner on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The Argentine and the American have combined to launch 111 aces thus far in Paris and the fireworks will continue to fly as they resume their rivalry.
Champions at the March Masters events this year, with Del Potro taking his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells and Isner following suit in Miami, the pair are set to battle for the 11th time. In April, the North Carolina native prevailed in straight sets en route to the title at the Miami Open presented by Itau. But while Isner has reeled off consecutive wins over Del Potro, the Argentine will be buoyed by a 6-4 overall edge in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
There is plenty at stake in the first clay-court meeting between the Top 10 stars. Del Potro is seeking his first trip to the Roland Garros quarter-finals since 2012, as he continues his push towards a Top 5 return. Isner, meanwhile, has appeared in the last eight at a Grand Slam just once in his career (2011 US Open) and will be eager to earn a significant breakthrough.
 Marin Cilic (CRO) vs.  Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Cilic leads FedEx ATP Head2Head 2-1
It’s an Italian renaissance in Paris. On Sunday, Marco Cecchinato stunned David Goffin to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros. And on Monday, Fognini will have a chance to join his countryman in the last eight.
The spotlight will be shining bright on the 18th seed, who takes on Cilic on Court Philippe-Chatrier to conclude Day 9 action. Fognini will face a tall order against the 6’6″ Croatian, as he seeks his first Top 5 win at a major (0-6) and second appearance in the Roland Garros quarter-finals (2011). The only other occasion in which multiple Italians appeared in the last eight at a major was in Paris in 1973 (Bertolucci & Panatta).
But as eager as Fognini will be to spring the upset, Cilic is poised to continue his march towards a momentous Roland Garros final, which would see him complete the set of reaching all four major championships. The third seed has turned in an impressive run to the second week, dropping just one set along the way.
While the pair have met on three previous occasions, they are completely different players now. Their last encounter came seven years at the China Open in Beijing, after splitting clay-court clashes in Monte-Carlo in 2009 and in Umag in 2011.
 Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs.  Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
Anderson leads FedEx ATP Head2Head 2-0
“What makes him so good is he’s one of the best returners in the game. He’s one of the best movers in the game. He’s one of the best fighters in the game. He’s a great ball striker from the baseline.”
Anderson has done his homework. The sixth-seeded South African will face Schwartzman on Court Suzanne-Lenglen on Monday, and he knows very well the threat the Argentine poses. It will be a great contrast in styles, as the powerful 6’8″ Anderson battles the agile 5’7″ Schwartzman for a coveted spot in the quarter-finals.
One of just two players to reach the fourth round without dropping a set (also Nadal), Schwartzman has been a dominant force throughout his stay in Paris. A 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 dismissal of an in-form Borna Coric secured his best result at Roland Garros and third straight appearance in the second week of a Slam.
On the other side of the net, Anderson will be buoyed by a 2-0 edge in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He took their lone previous major meeting at the 2015 Australian Open and only clay-court encounter, two years ago in Nice. Also in search of his first appearance in the Roland Garros quarter-finals, Anderson would become the first South African in the Open Era to achieve the feat.