Sunday’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.
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.