Day 8 Matches
The first of the 2016 Roland Garros quarter-finals is all set and will be contested between Garbiñe Muguruza and Shelby Rogers! Rogers didn’t play the last Slam at the Australian Open but she is into the quarters of the French Open after defeating Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets on Sunday. Her on-court interview with Marion Bartoli was a wonderful moment. I love these magical moments at the Slams and its bringing back memories of Zhang Shuai at the Australian Open… just great to see.
I managed to find a pocket of decent wi-fi to watch the majority of the Muguruza-Kuznetsova match over lunch. For the most part, I thought it was an excellent display from Muguruza who was more lethal on both serve and return. She lost her way after a bad miss on a break point in the second set that could have seen her take a double break lead. Muguruza backed off allowing Kuznetsova to dictate and get the break back. In a pivotal ninth game, Kuznetsova’s lack of first serves was telling as she allowed Muguruza to attack on the return and get the opportunity to serve for the match… it was a struggle but she got there in the end. Muguruza won, 6-3 6-4.
At the close of play of Sunday, Simona Halep leads Sam Stosur 5-3 in the first set and Agnieszka Radwanska leads Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-2 3-0. The Halep-Stosur first set was really great… the final point of the day was a stunner with Halep finishing off at the net to hold yet another deuce-decided game.
Day 9 Matches
Bacsinszky-V.Williams – Loving this match-up… and it’s unexpected for me because I really didn’t anticipate Venus making it far. Bacsinszky is less of a surprise and had a straightforward win over Pauline Parmentier in the third round. Venus is never to be discounted, even on clay, and on any other surface i’d probably go for Venus. However, I think i’m leaning towards Timea on this one… she seems in a great place right now with her tennis, so calm and assured of what she’s doing, and right now, one of the most consistent players on the tour after a ropey start to the year. A concern for Venus would be the added hours on the court with doubles although she’s battled through many tough situations with flying colours.
S.Williams-Svitolina – Serena v Mlads sounded decent and here’s hoping that the Frenchwoman can push on from here and have a successful grass court season. She has so many impressive facets to her game but has had a very disappointing year up till now in singles. I was pleasantly surprised to see Svitolina snap her seven match losing streak to Ivanovic and score the win… while Ivanovic is having a dire year by her standards, it was still a noteworthy victory for Svitolina in my opinion. The Ukrainian player can certainly make things awkward for Serena if the American player is having an off day. Add to that, Svitolina will no doubt get some useful tips from Justine Henin prior to this match. I wouldn’t be surprised if Svitolina bagged a set, but i’d question whether she has the staying power and mental fortitude to knock out the number one seed.
Suárez Navarro-Putintseva – CSN scored an excellent win over Cibulkova in the third round… I was definitely leaning towards Domi in that one and was surprised to see such a dominant third set scoreline for the Spaniard. Poots has flown through this draw, dropping just eight (!) games in three matches. I’d guess she will lose more than eight in this match alone because Suárez Navarro will be tough to break down on clay. This is an interesting match-up and i’d fancy it to go the distance… leaning towards Carla battling back for the victory.
Keys-Bertens – I’ve been super impressed with both… Bertens has not only backed up her title in Nurnberg but also the first round upset win over Angelique Kerber. Her 10-8 third set marathon win over Daria Kasatkina in the third round sounded truly epic. Match points were missed, but Bertens hung in there to match her 4th round appearance at the French Open from 2014. Keys has also kept up the good form from Rome and has yet to drop a set at Roland Garros. Keys has looked mentally secure of late, not being perturbed by missed opportunities or deficits, and has demonstrated a sound ability to peak for the events that really matter. I think that all those matches over the past two weeks will finally catch up with Bertens and therefore, going for Keys in straights.