The quarter-finals are all set at the 2019 French Open. I thought the last 16 matches were a tad subdued and I was disappointed by the scheduling that placed Monday’s women’s matches first and last on both courts with the final match of the day rather predictably moved from Suzanne Lenglen to Simonne Mathieu. I’m hoping for some cracking quarters! Read on for highlights from day 9 at Roland Garros.
Match reviews 🎾
Ash Barty d. Sofia Kenin, 6-3 3-6 6-0
Ash Barty dropped her first set of the tournament but powered through the ensuing decider against Sofia Kenin to reach her first French Open quarter-final. Barty landed 70% of first serves in during the first set and created errors from Kenin’s side with her backhand slice. Kenin took charge of the match in the second set, playing very aggressively and pushing Barty back. Kenin couldn’t keep it up in the decider as the errors flowed from her racquet. Barty served well and played a very contained deciding set as she soaked up pressure and constructed points thoughtfully.
Madison Keys d. Katerina Siniakova, 6-2 6-4
Madison Keys made it back-to-back French Open quarter-finals with a straight sets win over Katerina Siniakova. There were some fun points in this match with Siniakova again on the defence. I thought it was Keys’s most positive performance of the week and the heavy, damp conditions seem to suit her. Keys was dictating most rallies and really crunching the ball. Importantly, she managed to keep her winners and unforced errors in line with each other (26 to 26). I think Madison is moving really well on the clay.
After missing some opportunities up 4-3 on serve, I wondered if Keys was going to let slip another second set. Not this time as she stayed focused and won eight of the last ten points to book her place in the last eight. Madison’s Slam record is very impressive and she’s into her 7th Slam quarter-final. Would you believe that Wimbledon is the only Slam she hasn’t made a quarter-final at in the past three years!
Simona Halep d. Iga Swiatek, 6-1 6-0
Simona Halep is back in the quarter-finals after a ruthless display, storming past the 18-year-old, Iga Swiatek. Halep was brutal on return as Swiatek failed to hold serve once, winning just 11 of 40 points behind her serve. Halep looked so comfortable on court and she was in no mood for messing around, wrapping up proceedings in just 45 minutes! A tough one for Swiatek but i’m sure she will learn from this match. Halep marches on in what has been a sound title defence so far.
Amanda Anisimova d. Aliona Bolsova, 6-3 6-0
Of the last eight in Paris, three of the players are into their first ever Slam quarter-final. The youngest of the lot is the 17-year-old, Amanda Anisimova who fired 33 winners past Aliona Bolsova. It was raining winners at the start of this match with both players making a fine start. From 2-2 in the first set, Anisimova ran away with the match as she won 10 of the last 11 games.
Anisimova’s ball striking was just on another level. She can do anything she wants with that magical backhand. Anisimova defended well behind her serve, saving all eight break points faced. Anisimova did get frustrated in the second set but she ultimately won the key points. The scoreline was a tad harsh on Bolsova in the second set as the Spaniard has game points in four of the six games.
The draw has opened up for Anisimova but I am so impressed with how she has grabbed the opportunity. She was the favourite in the last two matches and stayed focused mentally. The young American has yet to drop a set at this tournament and continues to make a name for herself on the big stage. Next up is the ultimate test on clay…
Stat watch 🔢
Ash Barty has been arguably the most consistent and reliable player on the WTA tour in 2019. The Aussie is the ONLY player to reach the quarter-finals of BOTH the Australian Open and the French Open this year.
Press highlights 📰
Press conferences have been scarcely shared this tournament. Enjoyed this video of some of Sloane’s best moments in press 😂.
Recommended media 📺
The WTA is posting some really interesting stuff on their YouTube page. The “My Story” series are beautifully done. Perhaps they did share these at the time on social media but I missed them! See Anett Kontaveit’s story linked below and check out others on the YouTube page including Elise Mertens and Ash Barty.
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
Both of Tuesday’s quarter-finals have curious head-to-heads with Martic 4-0 against Vondrousova and Konta 2-0 against Stephens. Who you got?