This is my first standard post for the 2022 French Open since the draw preview. I had a great time in Paris and enjoyed writing about my experiences on the blog. It’s nice to share some different content for a change! I feel like I have closure on the trip (so dramatic 😂) and am looking forward to the final week of the tournament. This post reviews the fourth round matches as we head to the quarter-finals which will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.
R4 notes 🎾
Leylah Fernandez d. Amanda Anisimova, 6-3 4-6 6-3 (Sunday, Court Philippe-Chatrier)
First of all, I was surprised at this result. I know I shouldn’t be because Fernandez is great. I was starting to think that this section of the draw was Anisimova’s for the taking. Fernandez played a greattt match. When the pair met earlier this year in Indian Wells, Anisimova dominated from the start. I thought Fernandez made a conscious effort to start strongly and she came racing out of the blocks. Anisimova was made to look sluggish and she looked like her feet were stuck in the mud.
Anisimova looked to have turned the match in her favour when she won the second set to level at one set all and then led 1-0* 40-0* with three break points. Fernandez saved them all, one with a serve that was overruled by the umpire. That was the turning point as Fernandez seized control of the match. Fernandez did such a good job at mixing up placements on her serve. Anisimova is one of the most dangerous returners and while she probably did have a bit of an off day in that department, some of that was surely down to Fernandez. Similarly, on Anisimova’s serve, Fernandez returned exceptionally well and was able to handle the kick serve.
I’m disappointed for Anisimova. Her negative attitude on court can sometimes be her undoing and she did get in a bit of a rut in this match. It’s still a solid result and back-to-back second week showings at the Slams in 2022. Fernandez seems to be on a bit of a roll like the US Open and I don’t think there was much warning from her results on the clay this year that this was on the cards. I don’t know how she does it but she is fantastic at getting the crowd on side!
Coco Gauff d. Elise Mertens, 6-0 6-4 (Sunday, Court Philippe-Chatrier)
Gauff has achieved back-to-back quarter-finals at the French as she had a surprisingly routine straight sets win over Mertens. The first set was close. Many breaks of serve, many long, extended rallies. I always felt Gauff was going to win it though. I feel bad for saying it but I just don’t trust Mertens in the crux moments. The Belgian player saved the first set point in the first set on an extraordinary rally but Gauff’s pressure eventually paid off.
The second set was one-way traffic. Gauff’s movement and defence were exemplary. I liked Gauff’s draw from the start and to her credit, she’s taken full advantage of it so far.
Sloane Stephens d. Jil Teichmann, 6-2 6-0 (Sunday, Court Suzanne-Lenglen)
I just can’t get my head around that Sloane lost to the world number 306 in Strasbourg less than two weeks ago. Now into the quarters of the French! This was as good as it gets as Sloane took Jil-One-L to the woodchipper.
This result was all the more extraordinary because Teichmann started superbly and had points for a 3-0 lead! I wonder if the gruelling three hour plus match with Azarenka on Friday caught up with her? Stephens got on a roll and was scintillating in that second set, dropping just THREE points. It just went too fast for Jil. Sloane’s forehand is normally the litmus test and she was absolutely ripping it.
As much as there’s been discussion about the exodus of the top ten seeds at this tournament, I am really excited about Sloane vs. Coco in the next round. I think that’s a fab match-up for the quarters. I can’t believe I am going to say this after the clay court season that Sloane has had but she can win this title. No question about it.
Daria Kasatkina d. Camila Giorgi, 6-2 6-2 (Monday, Court Suzanne-Lenglen)
Kasatkina is into her first Slam quarter-final since Wimbledon 2018. I’ve always been fond of Dasha and I am really chuffed at the way she won this. Kasatkina played a great match. So few errors, great defence and counter-punching, and she seemed to have a clear gameplan and really believed in herself. There have been soooo many matches where I just felt Kasatkina didn’t believe in herself. I felt like she really stood up for herself in this match and never wavered.
The key in this match was the winners to unforced errors ratio. Kasatkina hit 16 winners to 10 unforced errors, while Giorgi was 29 to 37. Kasatkina was never going to outhit Giorgi. She didn’t look panicked though when Giorgi did invariably hit a hot patch. Ultimately, Giorgi struggled to consistently hit winners past a rock-solid Kasatkina.
Iga Swiatek d. Zheng Qinwen, 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2 (Monday, Court Philippe-Chatrier)
I had weird vibes about this match and I don’t think I was alone. I thought this was a potential banana skin for Swiatek and it did prove to be her tougest test of the entire tournament. Let’s start with that first set. 84 minutes! I think it was one of the best, most entertaining sets of the entire season. Swiatek led 5-2, both in the set and the ensuing tiebreak, and had five set points. It was Zheng who prevailed to snap Swiatek’s streak of 20 consecutive sets won. There’s no doubt that Swiatek had a wobble and was affected by Zheng’s game.
Swiatek went off court at the end of the first set and reset impressively, coming back with a clear gameplan, a clear head and moving the ball effectively from side-to-side. Zheng took an off-court medical time-out for a leg injury and came back with heavy strapping. Swiatek cruised through the second set for yet another bagel. The intensity, the excitement of the first set faded rather spectacularly. Swiatek went up a break in the third set and I kind of lost interest in the match! Suddenly though, there was this moment where Zheng, who had ditched the taping on her leg, looked back in the game. It was a strange match! For a few games, I thought this was going to go all the way. Swiatek saved a couple of break points at *2-1 in the third set and was never really troubled from there on.
A noteworthy win for Swiatek. Dealing with the missed opportunities in the first set and then with an injured opponent who suddenly had a bit of a second wind in the third set. The third set was a bit scrappy but Swiatek ultimately defended her lead in the third set with authority. 32 wins in a row!!! Zheng is more than just one to watch. She’s got serious game. Her heavy groundstrokes and impressive movement on the clay certainly got into Swiatek’s head for a set.
Best of the rest 🎾
Martina Trevisan made it nine straight wins and reached her second Roland Garros quarter-final with a hard fought 7-6(10) 7-5 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The first set tiebreak was a highlight.
Veronika Kudermetova advanced to her first Slam quarter-final, beating Madison Keys in a breadstick sandwich scoreline, 1-6 6-3 6-1. Disappointed for Madison who had played such a great match against Rybakina in the last round and started this match in fine form too. Kudermetova was brilliant in the final two sets.
Jessica Pegula reached her second Slam quarter-final of the year with a gutsy 4-6 6-2 6-3 win over Irina-Camelia Begu. Pegula came into this match with a 0-2 H2H record against Begu.
Funny moment 🤣
Loved this haha!
Super snap 📸
Madison and Taylor doing great in the doubles!
Recommended media 📺
This was such a nice moment! Not sure if it’s been said enough but Coco is such a good egg. I have so much time for Coco.
Recommended reading 📚
Shameless self-promotion – here’s my guide to visiting the French Open which completes my set of guide posts for the four Slams on the blog. Checked the tweet below multiple times and still included a typo. Mortified haha 🙈.