WTA Roland Garros, Quarter-Final Preview: Muguruza v Sharapova and Suarez Navarro v Bouchard

In the first womens match of the day Andrea Petkovic edged the qualifier, Kiki Bertens in three sets to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2011 US Open.  She will take on Sara Errani, who defeated Jelena Jankovic in two tight sets.  Listening to Errani’s grunt on RG Radio this afternoon was a real treat.  Talking of RG Radio, it has been brilliant this year and is definitely worth listening too if you are stuck at work!  The other quarter-final, which will see Svetlana Kuznetsova take on Simona Halep, fascinates me the most out of all four.  You can read my recap of Kuznetsova’s victory over Safarova here.  Previews for the second pair of womens quarter-finals will be released on Tuesday evening…

Poll Results: 63% correctly went for Halep to beat Stephens, 48% correctly went for Kuznetsova to beat Safarova, 53% correctly went for Errani to beat Jankovic and 78% correctly went for Petkovic to beat Bertens.

TFF Dream Team Update: BK has a healthy lead of 69 points over Wild Briar Village in 2nd place and Alice in 3rd.

1. Garbine Muguruza v Maria Sharapova


Maria Sharapova

When the draw was announced, the one storyline that captured most of the attention was that Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams had drawn into the same quarter and were set to meet in a blockbuster last eight clash.  Sharapova has made it, but Serena is back in Miami.  Sharapova will play Garbine Muguruza, who has backed up her second round win demolition of Serena to book her place in the last eight for the first time at a Grand Slam.  Muguruza had a potentially dangerous 4th round clash with a Frenchwoman on Philippe Chatrier.  Pauline Parmentier played some great points and got the crowd involved; Muguruza kept the pressure on though and battered her way to the win with a 6-4 6-2 victory.

Sharapova played what I believe, was her defining match of this year’s tournament.  From a set and a break down, she came back to defeat Sam Stosur, 3-6 6-4 6-0.  For a set and half, Stosur was going toe-to-toe with Sharapova.  Her backhand was holding up, her forehand was pulsating and she was winning the lions share of the brutal rallies.  One sloppy game at 6-3 *4-4 and the rest was history.  Sharapova didn’t lose another game as she absolutely destroyed Stosur in the third set with a majestic performance.  Her celebration told you everything you needed to know about what that win meant to her.  Sharapova won her only previous match with Muguruza in Rome last year, 6-2 6-2.  Garbine has had a tremendous tournament and officially put her name on the map.  Maria for the win though.

Prediction: Sharapova d. Muguruza in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

2. Carla Suarez Navarro v Eugenie Bouchard


Carla Suarez Navarro

The second quarter always looked the most open so it hasn’t come as a huge surprise that neither Agnieszka Radwanska or Angelique Kerber have reached the quarter-finals.  Instead, two first time winners on the WTA tour during this clay court season will go head-to-head in what will be a first ever French Open semi-final for the victor; Oeiras champion, Carla Suarez Navarro will go up against the Nurnberg champion, Eugenie Bouchard.  Genie produced a stunning performance, perhaps her best of the year, to defeat Angelique Kerber, 6-1 6-2.  It was a comprehensive beatdown and Bouchard was rewarded for her aggression and accuracy.  You can read my full recap of that 4th round HERE.

Suarez Navarro has flown completely under the radar this week.  In the fourth round, she took out another hot prospect, Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-3 6-3.  CSN has had an insane clay court season and she has demonstrated what a beautiful player she is on this surface.  In their only previous match-up, it was the Spaniard who won in two tight sets at last year’s Wimbledon.  This match is so difficult to call! I was so impressed by Bouchard against Kerber.  However CSN is so incredibly resourceful on this surface.  She has so many tricks up her sleeve.  The one concern is her mentality because there is no doubt that Bouchard is the better game player.  The title win in Oeiras was huge though for CSN… decisions! I’m taking what I feel is a risk…

Prediction: Suarez Navarro d. Bouchard in 3 sets

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