French Open 2016: Day 12 Quarter-Final Previews

Finally the rain abated to allow all the matches on Wednesday’s schedule to be completed. For Thursday, the remaining quarter-finals will be completed. I only just realised today that they played for two hours and one minute yesterday which meant that schedulers didn’t have to fork out for refunds… sounds a little shady to me! While it was tough on the players, it was the same for all of them competing. I think this is really bad for the tennis fans.

This is my last day of holiday in Cyprus and i’m travelling back home tomorrow. I’ve had a lovely time with my family but i’m also really looking forward to the grass court season and getting fully back to blogging… can’t believe Eastbourne is just two weeks away!

Cyprus

1. Serena Williams v Yulia Putintseva

Serena Williams

This is a fun match-up! I caught the end of Carla-Poots and was impressed with how solid Putintseva. She served out the match in convincing fashion although at the same time, I was disappointed by Suárez Navarro’s lack of fight… an injury? Serena was in ruthless form, dropping just two games against Elina Svitolina; as she often does at the business end of a Slam, Serena is the one to beat.

Serena leads the H2H against Putintseva, 2-0 although both matches featured a tight opening set that went to the tiebreak. Putintseva has played great to reach her first Slam quarter-final and is still yet to drop a set this fortnight. A focused Serena will no doubt win this in two. Slightly off her game and an inspired Poots could make this a very competitive match. Leaning towards the former…

2. Timea Bacsinszky v Kiki Bertens

Kiki Bertens

Bacsinszky quickly went down 0-2 in her fourth round encounter against Venus Williams but scored a virtual first set bagel and clung onto a break in the second set, serving it out, 6-2 6-4, with a first ace of the match. I was really surprised that Bertens continued her stunning run by beating Madison Keys. The two extra days of rest certainly worked in Bertens’s favour although she did remark in press about the negative impact of the heavy conditions.

In their only previous meeting, Bacsinszky advanced via a retirement at the 2014 US Open leading 6-7(9) 4-3. Bertens is playing with a wealth of confidence but I think the same can be said for Bacsinszky who has been tactically on-point during this clay court season and continues to look totally assured in what she’s doing on the court. Timea’s close to defending those semi-final points…

Photos in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

7 thoughts on “French Open 2016: Day 12 Quarter-Final Previews

  1. According to this ESPN article (http://espn.go.com/tennis/french16/story/_/id/15876644/french-open-five-reasons-serena-williams-leery-yulia-putintseva), the analysts said that Serena should be leery of Putintseva. However, I find this far to be from true! Putintseva always starts out strong, but Serena ends up winning a tight first set and completely dominates the second set, which is right when Putintseva just mentally falls apart! There are a lot of positives for Serena going into this match – she has totaled 20 aces, five double faults, 110 winners, and 80 errors. On the other hand, Putintseva has averaged six aces, one double fault, 88 winners, and 56 errors. While Putintseva has 24 fewer errors than Serena, I don’t think she really has a strong weapon to push Serena to three sets. The even bigger factor is that Putintseva is a former student of Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena’s coach. So, that’ll be a strong indication that Serena will be more prepared going into this match. My prediction is that Serena will win this match in two sets.

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    • Yulia can get annoying real fast when you play her. So much energy and fight in her game. Worst is if she gets you cornered. That is what Serena may have to guard against, not letting her get under her skin and playing her focused game. It could get scrappy but Serena has beaten her before, and she knows not to snooze against her else you lose.

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      • Well I think Serena admires that about a player more than anything else. She likes a plucky character.

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      • Ha..not when you’re trying to get to the clay slam final, looking to reach a 22nd slam win and getting a monkey off your back. Off court, she does love it. It is her nature as well. She did admit to it pre-match, saying that’s what makes Yulia all the more dangerous.

        Someone else does have some pluck and she’s surely going for the title too, I think her name is Garbine.
        Should be a clay final to savour.

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  2. Despite her big scares against WTA Rising Stars Kristina Mladenovic and Yulia Putintseva earlier, Serena Williams has looked 100% healthy throughout this tournament. Her serve has been extremely clean throughout the tournament, having served no more than four double faults per match. As for Bertens, I don’t think she’ll be able to win a set off of Serena in tomorrow’s semifinal, especially with an injured left calf. Also, her coach did report that she may not play because of her injury. So, I’m predicting Serena in two sets. In the other semifinal featuring Muguruza and Stosur, I’m leaning towards Stosur in three sets. She’s a more accomplished doubles player, having added 24 titles to her name with several different partners, including Grand Slams too.

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