A blockbuster third round match is set for Roland Garros on day 6 as Maria Sharapova will face her first significant test of the fortnight against the in-form, Sam Stosur. Generally speaking, the Aussie has had a disappointing year; through the first eight tournaments of the year, Stosur failed to win back-to-back matches. Fortunes changed during the clay court season as she reached the third round in Madrid and then had a confidence boosting run in Strasbourg where she was crowned champion. Stosur won four matches, of which three were in three sets. Stosur has sailed through her first two matches at Roland Garros, beating Madison Brengle (6-1 6-3) and Amandine Hesse (6-0 6-1). Stosur is now on a six match winning streak and arrives into this match with newly defined confidence. It would seem that working again with former coach, Dave Taylor has been a positive move although Stosur has always performed well at Roland Garros.
Sharapova hasn’t dropped a set through her first two matches; she beat Kaia Kanepi, 6-2 6-4 in the first round and followed that up with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Vitalia Diatchenko in the second round. The Russian player looked under the weather in her opener and will need to be on her game against Stosur. Sharapova leads the head-to-head 14-2 although Stosur’s two victories have come in their last seven matches. The last time they played was at Roland Garros last year in the fourth round. Stosur had Sharapova on the ropes, but Maria eeked out the second set and blasted through in a superb third set performance to win, 3-6 6-4 6-0. Stosur has game to trouble Sharapova and this surface suits her game perfectly. All the matches she has played in the past week will help her for this one. I’d just question whether she has what it takes mentally to tumble the defending champion. I’m expecting a gripping match with Maria surviving a battle.
Prediction: Sharapova d. Stosur in 3 sets