Monday, 2 June 2014

Roland Garros QF: Sharapova's title to lose

Upset of the previous day:

Sara Errani def. Jelena Jankovic 7-6(5) 6-2

Making her third consecutive QF in Paris in a row, Errani once again proves to be a threat on clay. To beat Errani, you have to hit through her, something which Jankovic doesn't have the power to do. The Serbian's balls do not have the penetration to hurt Sara, and Errani once again proves the doubters wrong. Another very winnable match against Petkovic awaits, as Errani tries to reach her third semi-final here for 3 consecutive years.

Match focus:

Garbine Muguruza vs. Maria Sharapova

Sharapova got out of jail big time against Stosur, with the Australian freezing up when she was near victory. The Russian will need to get things going against Garbine Muguruza, as the Spaniard is going from strength to strength. Muguruza's ground game is impressive, pinning her opponents to the baseline with hard hit balls. The only relative weakness I see is her service. If she gets a low percentage of first serves, Sharapova can pounce on the second serve and gain advantage. This is Garbine's first quarter-final, so there will definitely be nerves. Therefore, I think Sharapova will emerge to victor this time again. Things might get close for one set though.

Pick: Sharapova in 2 tight sets

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Eugenie Bouchard

Bouchard's game isn't really suited for clay but she's also excelling on this surface. A win here will mean she's the only player to have reached 2 consecutive slam semi-finals this year. Carla loves the clay, but her mental game always lets her down. I believe securing that title in Oeiras has freed her a bit and it will be a dogfight here. Bouchard takes the ball early, but Carla can nullify that with her slow slice. If she can frustrate the Canadian with patient play, she can advance to her first slam semi-finals. Very evenly matched for these 2 players, but I think Suarez Navarro has the better clay game, and will reach the last 4.

Pick: Suarez Navarro in 3 tight sets

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