French Open Day 8 – Christopher Clarey Previews Serena vs Sharapova Showdown; Is Sascha Zverev Running Out Of Lives?; Bad Light Stops Play In Bizarre Fashion

Cancel your plans, Serena vs Sharapova is happening.

After days of speculation, Catherine and David are giddy with excitement on the latest Tennis Podcast. But will the match live up to expectations?

To preview a showdown of such magnitude, Catherine speaks to the perfect guest – esteemed New York Times writer Christopher Clarey. He’s the man who first described this match-up as an ‘un-rivalry’, but does he think Sharapova is primed to score her first victory against Serena since 2004?

Clarey also gives his take on why Serena has historically had such a hold over Sharapova, debates who has more of a point to prove and explains why Serena vs. Sharapova matches still have such a fierce edge, despite the lopsided head-to-head.

Elsewhere, for the third time this week, Catherine and David find themselves discussing a 5-set victory for Sascha Zverev. Is this shaping up to be a coming of age tournament for the German? Or might his exertions so far be his downfall against Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals?

There’s also more analysis of Novak Djokovic. The Serb convincingly beat Fernando Verdasco and will now play Marco Cecchinato who was a surprise winner over a fatigued David Goffin.

Plus, it was a day of straight-set victories in the women’s draw as Yulia Putintseva, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys all booked their places in the quarter-finals without much fuss. But Caroline Wozniacki vs. Daria Kasatkina ended for the night in bizarre fashion, with both players wanting to go off for darkness, even though it wasn't particularly late. What was going on?

There will be daily editions of The Tennis Podcast throughout the French Open, in association with Telegraph Sport. It is presented by Catherine Whitaker (Eurosport) and David Law (BBC 5 Live, BT Sport)

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