Sunday’s Set Points, French Open 2017 Day 8: Three setters galore, a new Slam champ awaits…

Set PointsSunday’s action at Roland Garros began with the completion of third round matches after the rain on Saturday. Three of the matches were wrapped up in straight sets and the first winner of the day was Petra Martic who delivered an OUTSTANDING display to beat Anastasija Sevastova, 6-1 6-1 in 48 minutes. Playing her first Slam main draw since the 2015 French Open, the Croatian player is back into the fourth round of a Slam for the first time since 2012!

Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina joined Martic in the second week with straight set wins. From a break down in the first set, Pliskova won 11 of the last 13 games to beat Carina Witthoeft, 7-5 6-1. Svitolina toughed out a tight two setter against Magda Linette, 6-4 7-5. I watched the end of the second set and was pretty impressed with Svitolina – she looks a different player from a few years ago in her willingness to go for her shots.

Nice to be back on court after a rain delay. Thanks for your support and hope to see you all tomorrow #FamEli💞🇺🇦

A post shared by Elina Svitolina🤞🏼 (@elisvitolina) on

The final player to reach the fourth round was Veronica Cepede Royg who backed up her wins over Lucie Safarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with a come-from-behind win over Mariana Duque-Mariño, 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3. Cepede Royg had just one Slam main draw win before this week.

Now onto the last 16 matches which I must say were a great advertisement for women’s tennis – all four went the distance and had their moments. First up was Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki on Philippe Chatrier where Wozniacki reached her first Roland Garros quarter-final since 2010, beating Kuznetsova, 6-1 4-6 6-2.

I was really impressed with Wozniacki in the first and third sets as she really made a sustained effort to be aggressive and also mix up her play with drop shots and slices. The backhand that Wozniacki hit on match point was 🔥🔥🔥.

Jelena Ostapenko delivered a peak display of hitting to come from a set down to beat Sam Stosur, 2-6 6-2 6-4. Stosur had looked in fine form during the first set, but the match turned on a pair of winners from Ostapenko who was struggling to hold early in the second set. Stosur took a medical time-out between the second and third sets for a hand issue. Stosur served well in the decider but couldn’t contend with an in-form Ostapenko who hit some outrageous winners.

A tip of the hat to Ostapenko for serving out the match to 15 and to reach her first Slam quarter-final. Nothing to say she can’t go further in this draw but i’m already excited to see what she can do on grass.

The most anticipated match of the day brought the drama and then some as Kristina Mladenovic, cheered on by a vociferous Suzanne Lenglen crowd, knocked out the defending champion, Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-1 3-6 6-3. I really liked Muguruza’s spirit to win the second set. The Spaniard though had some shocking misses up at the net and Mladenovic, despite hitting 16 double faults, was the better player on the day. Upon her name being read out when leaving the court, Garbiñe gave a finger wag of disapproval to the crowd!

And the Spaniard also reportedly broke down in press before dishing out a shady answer!

The final quarter-final saw Timea Bacsinszky recover from being unable to convert on a 5-1 first set lead and eventually outlast a tiring, Venus Williams, 5-7 6-2 6-1. Timea’s forehand and ball toss let her down at the end of the first set as Venus cut out the errors. However, the Swiss player was smart in sets two and three, mixing up the pace and ending with a flurry of superb drop shots. This is Timea’s third consecutive quarter-final at Roland Garros.

Huge respect to Venus for another second week showing at a Slam. I’m a fan of Timea so I was happy to see her come through. There was a nice, respectful exchange at the net.

The remaining fourth round matches will be played on Monday. A preview for the all-French clash between Caroline Garcia and Alizé Cornet is now up on the blog.

Polls are also up for the remaining three matches. I’ll put up some thoughts in the usual place…

 

After the losses of Kuznetsova, Muguruza and V.Williams, we now know that the 2017 French Open will produce a brand new Slam champion! I always think it is exciting in this case and I think the women’s draw has brought it this year – today was so much fun. I’m back to work tomorrow so probably won’t get to watch as much but will be following and blogging with much interest!

After Kuznetsova went out earlier, in my head I picked Stosur as my new champion 😂. For now, i’ve moved onto Halep! I’ll put up a poll once all four quarter-finals are set.

Nice to see Laura Siegemund in good spirits. I don’t speak German so I can’t tell you what she is saying 🙂

 

And finally for Lucie fans, there’s an interview on her official website HERE. She talks about dealing with illness in Prague and another bacterial infection (not as bad as 2015), and her plans for the grass court season. Lucie and Beth had a tricky doubles match today but are into the third round.

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16 thoughts on “Sunday’s Set Points, French Open 2017 Day 8: Three setters galore, a new Slam champ awaits…

  1. I fancy Bacsinszky to beat Mladenovic and Ostapenko to beat Wozniacki.

    I haven’t watched Martic play in years so have no idea what to expect against Svitolina, who may start to feel some pressure now to be a potential winner.

    Also unsure about Halep because looking at her head to head against CSN and she’s never beaten the Spaniard on clay. Carla has 4 wins on clay, 5 altogether against 6 wins from Simona.

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    • Ostapenko has won all 3 of their matches and is the superior clay court player AND she’s really hungry for this. She reminds me of Muguruza in 2014. I think she’ll beat Wozniacki and then falter to Bacsinszky or Mladenobitch in the semi’s.

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  2. At the start of the tournament, when @Vithun spoke of some ‘possible randoms’ making the final, I pegged the french girls, or an Ostapenko or Timea. I would be pleasantly surprised if Timea can get past Mlads.
    I think Justine was the last person to defend a french title, I didn’t think Garbine was going to repeat.

    Svitolina is still talking a good game in her interviews, so I’m hoping her head is also in the right place.

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    • Thoughts on RG17 so far:

      My predicted final was Mladenovic v Svitolina and it seems like it still could happen. However, I am finding it very difficult to get engaged in this slam – not been a match yet where I’m desperate for it to continue. I’m often finding myself wanting the match to finish I just want to know the result. Perhaps its the lack of star power in this draw making me feel this way, but I’m glad others are enjoying this year’s RG.

      I do believe Ostapenko will beat Wozniacki and I will be rooting for her as I find her attitude very amusing unlike Kiki who just comes across as very unlikeable to me, a bit like Regina George from Mean Girls! Also, there has been a non-seeded player in the SF in the last 6 slams, so it would be rather ironic if that changed when the tour is more unpredictable than ever before.

      Also not sure if you saw my comment about my slam fail theory – about how 2017 RG would be next shocking slam in the sequence (first two were 2013 Wimby & 2015 USO). Both of those finals are between slamless players who had a significantly better performance in that slam than any other previously, but who the pundits weren’t talking about as contenders. This theory could be proven true with a Bacsinsky v Svitolina final.

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      • It’s very interesting how the vast majority of people are completely overlooking Karolina Pliskova. She’s playing with almost no expectation or pressure, despite having dropped just one set so far and having a fairly comfortable looking path into the QFs.

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      • No worries if the theory doesn’t pan out. It was some food for thought which did set me thinking. Although, at this point in the season, players like Svitolina, Halep, Karolina and even Caroline Woz, are more the inform types. So, they making the final wont be that much of a surprise, especially Svitolina, she is pretty much warmed up for something big. She looks to me like she has been doing some body work too in the gym.

        Pavs missed out early. She could have made a name for herself.

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  3. I don’t understand the schedule for Monday. With all the time in the world, they have both early matches and both late matches starting at the same time. Frenchmen should be banned from setting up tennis schedules.

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