1. Maria Sharapova v Lucie Safarova (RG, R4)
Lucie, Lucie, LUCIE! OK i’m sorry for those that don’t have an attachment to Lucie but i’m excited! For the second year in a row, Lucie is into the second week of Roland Garros. This may not seem like a big deal but before this event last year, Lucie had gone 27 Slams without making it past the third round. She has now achieved that feat at four of the last five Slams. Lucie defeated Sabine Lisicki on Saturday, 6-3 7-6(2). She went up a break in the first set and had break point opportunities in two more of Sabine’s service games. She didn’t convert and normally that means bad news. However, Lucie maintained that break and then finally got the double break to win the opener, 6-3. Lisicki served for the second set and had a set point. Safarova came back to win the second set on the tiebreak (yes, a tiebreak!) and reach the fourth round.
I’m thrilled that myself and @Mc_Mooo on Twitter have both watched Lucie win live… we need to be there for all her matches! I’m also pleased to say that @Mc_Mooo managed to give Lucie the fanbook that was advertised HERE. Thanks to all who contributed 🙂
Photo from Lucie’s Facebook page
Safarova now gets a shot at Maria Sharapova. The Russian world number two looked emotional after her 6-3 6-4 win over Sam Stosur. Sharapova appears to have been under the weather and her reaction would suggest that she didn’t expect to win this match. It sounded like a bit of a damp squib and I was disappointed with the outcome. Sharapova leads the head-to-head with Safarova, 4-1. Their last three matches have all gone the distance. Sharapova won in Stuttgart (6-4 6-7 6-3, 2013), Miami (6-4 6-7 6-2, 2014) and Stuttgart again (7-6 6-7 7-6). The last two matches in particular were super fun watches. The match in Miami saw Lucie go in for a hug, while their most recent encounter in Stuttgart was just a high quality tennis match
I think Lucie has a shot. I really do. Is this the rum talking? Is this my crazy fan biasedness? I don’t know. Please let me know. I’m so pumped for this match though. Lucie’s matched her performance from last year and has nothing to lose. Sharapova’s not 100% right now so there’s a chance. I just hope Lucie believes and it’s still something I question whether she does. Lucie has played well this week but beating Sharapova would require another step up mentally. I have to be honest and say that I think Sharapova will edge it but i’m clinging on to the hope that Lucie can do it. It’s safe to say my Sunday will be scheduled around this match, but i’m worried about the weather… :-S
Prediction: Sharapova d. Safarova in 3 sets
2. Flavia Pennetta v Garbine Muguruza (RG, R4)
It’s always dangerous to start thinking about potential match-ups. I was starting to salivate at the prospect of a fourth round match between Angelique Kerber and Carla Suarez Navarro. After Friday’s matches, that became Garbine Muguruza v Flavia Pennetta. This is still an interesting match-up but it does highlight that pre-Grand Slam form can sometimes be insignificant. Kerber won Charleston and Stuttgart, while Suarez Navarro reached the final in Rome. Equally, Muguruza and Pennetta did very little over the past month on clay. Muguruza came from a set down to defeat Kerber, 4-6 6-2 6-2. I was chuffed for Garbine (but at the same time sad for Angie) as it was her best result since February. Her smile is just captivating.
Pennetta defeated Suarez Navarro in straight sets, 6-3 6-4. This was a match that I watched in its entirety. Pennetta played an excellent match, attacking the attackable serve of CSN, hitting a number of sweet backhands down-the-line and producing a clean all-court performance. Suarez Navarro was strangely subdued, committing an uncharacteristic amount of errors and also, struggling to pass or lob Pennetta when she came into the net. As ever, Carla was so sweet at the net. She’s such a decent person and I was disappointed for her.
Once again, i’m on the fence with this one. Muguruza leads the head-to-head 2-0 with both wins in three sets. When it’s like this, i’m going on instinct… Muguruza.
Prediction: Muguruza d. Pennetta in 2 tight sets
ATP R4 RG Predictions
Roger Federer d. Gael Monfils in 4 sets
Stan Wawrinka d. Gilles Simon in 4 sets
Tomas Berdych d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 3 sets
Kei Nishikori d. Teymuraz Gabashvili in 4 sets