The fourth day of Roland Garros was a great day for the seeds; 11 out of 12 progressed into the third round. Considering the madness of WTA draws in 2016, this is mad in itself! It was a quiet start to the day, which ended with some thoroughly entertaining matches. For a sweeping preview of four second round matches set for Thursday, click HERE. This could be my last post from Roland Garros… i’m off on holiday tomorrow! I’ve got wi-fi so i’ll be following the tennis, not sure about the blogging. Read on for Wednesday’s Set Points…Irina-Camelia Begu edged CoCo Vandeweghe in the longest women’s match of 2016 so far, 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 10-8 in three hours and 38 minutes. The end of the third set was super entertaining and there was some brilliant shotmaking from both players. Begu had been two points from defeat whilst serving at 6-7 *4-5 *40-40. The Romanian player forced the tiebreak which she won as Vandeweghe committed a whole host of errors, including one volley spooned long that prompted a chuck of the racquet.
After both players went off for a lengthy break, the third set went with serve; Vandeweghe was the more dominant player and took advantage of a break point at 4-4, bringing up an opportunity to serve for the match at *5-4 in the third set… it didn’t go well. From there on, Begu started to have more of an impact. The Romanian player began to stroll through her service games as Vandeweghe started to struggle on serve. The American player hit some crackers (notably three unreturnable serves to stave off a first match point and hold to 7-7), but also missed some sitters too.
In what would be the final game of the match, Begu produced an insane backhand passing shot that just dipped in. She sealed the win on her second match point. The number 25 seed was one of the in-form players during this year’s clay court season, but she has had to work mighty hard to book her place in the third round having also come from a set down in a first round win over Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Begu will play Annika Beck next who also came through a thrilling three setter against Kateryna Bondarenko, 4-6 6-3 7-5. The match concluded on a 36 (!) shot rally with Beck rewarded for her boldness as she produced a daring drop shot-lob combo. There were MANY brutal rallies at the end and Bondarenko was clearly flagging.
Beck had served for the match at *5-3 but Bondarenko’s willingness to attack paid off as she levelled up at 5-5. Beck though, played a wonderful game at 5-5, holding to love and playing three aggressive points where she went for the lines. The German player really showed her nerve at the end and is into the third round of the French Open for the second consecutive year.
The most anticipated match of the day was the second round encounter, fourth up on Suzanne Lenglen between Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Garcia. After a close start with six of the first seven games going to deuce, Radwanska pulled away at the start of the second set with some ferocity as Garcia began to lose her way. To her credit, the Frenchwoman fought back in the middle of the set, producing an incredible shot to break back to 3-4.
Breaks ensued as Radwanska failed to serve out the match at *5-3… but the crucial game was always going to be with Garcia serving to get back to level terms. There were game points for Garcia (3) but Radwanska was the touch steadier with two double faults in a row hurting Garcia. Radwanska sealed a big win on her third match point, 6-2 6-4. She will play Barbora Strycova in a sure-to-be compelling third rounder.
For Strycova, on Monday she won her first singles match at the French Open since 2004 (!) and is now into the third round of the French Open for the first time. Furthermore, she secured a first ever win over Polona Hercog on Wednesday having previously gone 0-3 in their head-to-head.
Lucie Safarova produced a clean and focused display to see off Czech-slayer, Viktorija Golubic, 6-2 6-2. Safarova needed six set points to serve out the first set, but had no such struggles in the second, powering through the last three games. Lucie’s looking great and gets Sam Stosur in the third round who she leads in their head-to-head, 11-3.
The day had begun in unnervingly routine fashion. To go with Safarova’s win, there were also seeded wins for Garbiñe Muguruza (6-2 6-0 over Georges), Simona Halep (7-6(5) 6-2 over Diyas), Petra Kvitova (6-4 6-1 over Hsieh), Svetlana Kuznetsova (6-1 6-3 over Watson) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (6-3 4-6 6-1 over Buyukakcay).
The only (!) seed to fall on day 4 was the number 27 seed, Ekaterina Makarova who lost out in three sets to Yanina Wickmayer. Two early results did surprise me though… Shelby Rogers defeated the in-form, Elena Vesnina, 6-4 6-2, while Naomi Osaka reached back-to-back Slam third rounds with a 6-3 6-3 win over the Strasbourg finalist, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
And finally, some lovely pics from Daria Kasatkina’s first round win over Anna-Lena Friedsam.