Kristina Mladenovic def. Li Na 7-5 3-6 6-1
Li Na said in her post match interview that she would have lost playing anybody. I have to agree. It's been a while since she couldn't control anything on her groundstrokes. Yesterday was an example of what Li Na can do on her worst day. Sadly, she only has one gameplan and cannot adapt when things are not working. Looks like the current Australian Open champion has a lot to reflect on. Coming into this tournament as the 2nd seed must have added pressure to her. Well, there's always grass season coming for Li, which suits her better.
Schedule of play:
Mona Barthel vs. Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is only in the second round because she struck lottery playing against an underpowered French wildcard. Even then, she didn't win convincingly as expected. Mona will definitely revel at this chance against her fellow struggling German. Mona seemed to be back on track after demolishing Knapp in her first round. If Mona goes on a roll, it will be hard to stop her.
Pick: Barthel in 2 sets
Alize Cornet vs. Taylor Townsend
Playing her first Grand Slam maindraw, Taylor Townsend will make her debut on a show court against homecrowd favourite Alize Cornet. Taylor is an exceptional shot maker with talented hands, but is hampered by her lack of conditioning. It will be a tough task for the American to upset Alize on the show court, but it will give the world a chance to see what she's capable of. If only she can put some effort into staying fit, I believe she has what it takes to be a top player. Just not now at this state.
Pick: Cornet in 2 sets
Ajla Tomljanovic vs. Elena Vesnina
Ajla has already accounted for the upset of Francesca Schiavone. Can she go one better by beating Vesnina? The Russian's form is quite fragile at the moment, and Ajla can take advantage of that. Riding on her confidence, I believe the Croatian can cause another upset here if she goes for her shots. Elena is feeling the pressure after her breakthrough year last year, and seems overly cautious so far. She should replicate the fearless tennis she displayed last year that won her 2 titles.
Pick: Tomljanovic in 3 sets
Julia Goerges vs. Eugenie Bouchard
For someone who excels on clay, Goerges has surprisingly weak results here in Paris. Her best showing was a third round, where she lost to clay-hating Bartoli. Still, Eugenie cannot let her guard down, as Julia always lifts her form to match her opponent. Bouchard is coming of her first title in Nurnberg, and will like her chances of going far this year. Her game takes time away from Julia's loopy groundstrokes, which will cause trouble for the German. Despite Julia showing some signs of a revival, I believe Bouchard will still win this.
Pick: Bouchard in 2 tight sets
Sure win bets: Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Flavia Pennetta, Samantha Stosur
Upset alert: Daniela Hantuchova, Elena Vesnina, Angelique Kerber, Sabine Lisicki