Friday, 30 May 2014

Roland Garros day 7: Can Kuznetsova grab this chance?

Upset of the previous day:

Ajla Tomljanovic def. Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-4

Surprise, surprise! With Radwanska's unceremonious exit, the women's draw is officially without its top 3 seeds. It seems that we are destined for a Sharapova vs Ivanovic/Halep final here. Agnieszka was not her usual crafty and consistent self against Ajla. Committing numerous unforced errors and just lacking drive, she fell behind in both sets quickly. Credit must also be given to Tomljanovic for staying strong and completing the win. Will more top seeds fall? Hopefully not as I think the tournament still needs some stars in the second week.

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Petra Kvitova

Kuznetsova's clay season has been better than average, and she seems to be progressing steadily here. She faces the unpredictable Kvitova, who did just enough to win her first 2 matches here. Petra's game isn;t suited for clay, but she powers through anyway. Part of it is due to her opponents's lack of game as well. However, Svetlana has tons of clay playing experience and will be looking to score another upset here. The Russian just has to hang in and hope Petra implodes.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 3 sets

Andrea Petkovic vs. Kristina Mladenovic

With the epic collapse of the draw, Petkovic is suddenly the highest seed left in her quarter. She will face French favourite, Mladenovic for a place in the last 16. Kristina has a huge serve, but is often undone by her errors. She's able to rein it in so far, but there's always a chance that she'll self destruct any day. Andrea just needs to ignore the partisan crowd, hang in there and take her chances. I think the German has a good chance to make a breakthrough here.

Pick: Petkovic in 2 sets

Jelena Jankovic vs. Sorana Cirstea

Cirstea rose to prominance right here, where she upset Jankovic, marking her first big win. These 2 will reignite the rivalry as Jankovic attempts to chase that elusive slam. There is no doubt that Cirstea has the game to beat Jankovic. But the stars have to be aligned at the exact positions for that Cirstea to appear. The Romanian has no lower gear and only know one ball bashing game. Jelena should be able to hang on and draw the errors from Sorana.

Pick; Jankovic in 2 tight sets

Sloane Stephens vs. Ekaterina Makarova

No matter how bad her form is preceding a grand slam, you can always count on Sloane Stephens to at least reach the 4th round. She continues this trend here, just one win away from a successive 6 consecutive round of 16 showings. Makarova should be a good test for Sloane though, but Stephens is clearly a big match player. She raises her level of play with respect to the tournament, and Makarova isn't in stellar form coming in anyway.

Pick: Stephens in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Simona Halep, Sara Errani, Silvia Soler Espinosa
Upset alert: Petra Kvitova

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