Roland Garros Quarter Final Review

The last two days of quarter finals is done and we now have our semifinalists. We’ve seen players step up to the occasion and get one step closer to the final. Although Novak Djokovic got a walkover into the semi finals, for everyone else, it wasn’t that easy as they battled the wind to get into the semi finals. Now we look back at the last two days of matches.

Federer Vs Monfils 6-4 6-3 7-6(3)

The Swiss maesrto is matched up against home favourite Gael Monfils. Gael Monfils came into this match an underdog despite winning their last match in the Paris Masters. Monfils began with a roaring start as he lead 3-1 in the opening set. Federer then bounced back to put the set back on serve. The 2009 champion didn’t allow Monfils any more chances as he took the first set 6-4, and won the next 6-3. Monfils began to lead Federer in the third set where Federer once again raced back from behind. The third set was determined by a tiebreak where he won 7-6 (3) in two hours and 34 minutes of play. Roger Federer will now play the long awaited match against Novak Djokovic in the semi finals.

Monfils congratules Federer.

Schiavone Vs Pavlyuchenkova 1-6 7-5 7-5

The veteren Schiavone battles against the Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who has just reached her first grand slam quarter final and also upset the number three seed Vera Zvonereva. The match started with a surprise as Pavlyuchenkova dominated the first hour of play leading 6-1 4-1.It seemed all was lost for Schiavone until she battled back with the fierce passion she’s known for and won the second set 7-5. She continued the momentum in the third set with a dream start at 5-1. Pavlyuchenkova refused to go away as she went for all or nothing. The final set equalled at 5-5 where both players traded game points and break points where Schiavone finally broke and served for the match. Schiavone then clinched victory on her third match point and earning a place in the semi finals. Although Pavlyuchenkova didn’t win today, she leaves with a promising future ahead. Schiavone will now face Marion Bartoli for a place in the final.

Schiavone through to the semi finals.

Bartoli Vs Kuznetsova 7-6 (4) 6-4

The frenchwoman Bartoli comes in as the underdog against 2009 french open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. Unlike Svetlana, Marion comes in with the home crowd behind her. She used this advantage to battle past the Russian. She lead 5-3 in the opening set before losing focus to see the scoreboard at 5-5. The set eventually went into a tiebreak where Bartoli took advantage of the situation and claimed the first set. She lead 2-0 in the second and both women began to hold their serves. Leading 5-4, Bartoli seized her opportunity and raised her arms in the air as she won match point. The last French woman to win the french open was Mary Pierce in 2000. Bartoli has come one step closer to becoming the next french woman to win her home grand slam.

Victory for Bartoli.

 

Li Na Vs Azarenka 7-5 6-2

Victoria Azarenka comes into her match one of the favourites to win this years french open. Her Chinese opponent Li Na comes into this match as the 2011 Australian Open runner up and her first appearance at the quarterfinals in Roland Garros. Both women have had success this year so this promised to be a thrilling clash. The match began with both women holding their serves in the first set.  Li Na eventually broke Azarenkas service game and won the first set 7-5. Azarenka fought hard to get back into the match, but the world number six was too strong as she took out the second set 6-2. Li Na will now face Maria Sharapova in the semi finals.

Li Na ousts Victoria Azarenka.

Sharapova Vs Petkovic 6-0 6-3

Both Maria Sharapova and Andrea Petkovic have claimed victory over each other this season. However it was Sharapova who was too much for Petkovic as she won convincingly on her least favoured surface. The match started with complete dominance from the Russian with a 6-0 2-0 lead. Despite what the score suggests, Petkovic actaully had game point in each game. The German seemed to be fighting back to equal the score at 2-2. Both women would then break each others serves. However, this game would be the last won by Petkovic as Sharapova raced to victory with 6-3 in the second set. She now faces Li Na in her semi final and equals her best result in the french open.

Sharapova screams into the semis.

 Murray Vs Chela 7-6 7-5 6-2

The result of this match was a predictable one, but the scoreline was not. The fourth seed who injured his ankle in his third round match, recovered from two breaks down in the first set only to win 7-2 in the tiebreak. The momentum seemed to switch to both men in the second set where despite blowing a 5-2 lead,Murray eventually took the second 7-5. Chela began to break down as the Brit began to lead the third set. After 2 hours and 53 minutes, Murray reached his first Roland Garros semi final and sets up a clash against world number 1 Rafael Nadal.

Murray in semis for the first time.

Soderling Vs Nadal 6-4 6-1 7-6

Robin Soderling is the only man ever to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. He proves as a huge threat as Nadal has struggled to play his best. The demonstration that the number one player has shown has silenced the doubters.  Nadal took early domination against the Swede with a convincing 6-4 win in the first set and a 6-1 win in the second set in just 33 minutes. The plan Soderling went for wasn’t going well as he hit many balls wide and saw Nadal chase ball after ball to see them smashed past him. The third set proved to be a thriller as Soderling dug deep and broke Nadals serve to equal at 5-5. After many incredible rallies, Nadal took the third set at 7-3 in the tiebreak to reach the semi finals. He now faces Andy Murray in the semi final and has now regained his form.

Nadal during an incredible rally.

 

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Roland Garros Day 10: Quarter Finals Begin

Ten days have past and we now reach the business part of the tournament. The quarter finalist have been chosen, the field is getting smaller and the competition is getting tougher. Tennis fans are in for a treat today with three quarter final matches and a fourth round match which will conclude today.

The Conclusion Of Murray Vs Troicki

The match stands at two sets all at 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2. The deciding set will be played today which will determine the final quarterfinalist of the mens draw. Murray has fought a spectacular comeback against the number fifteenth seed Troicki. Andy has played through the right ankle injury which prevented him to play his best tennis and in turn, losing the first two sets. Troicki lead a break in the third set which saw the likelihood of Murray’s departure more likely than ever. However, he fought through and found himself playing the shots he’s renowned for. He equaled the match at two sets all when the match was suspended. The two men would have to wait another day to continue there match.

Ankle injury seems to be taking it's toll

Troicki fighting for his first quarter final.

Murray should win this match due to the extra confidence of winning those last two sets and extra recovery time for his ankle.

Murray digs deep.

Judging on the past few days, it seems delayed matches have been a current trend. It started off with Djokovic Vs Del Potro, then we had Monfils Vs Ferrer and now we have Murray Vs Troicki. The question is, should scheduling be fixed to assure all matches finish before dark? With the exception of the Isner Vs Mahut which was something else. Also maybe Roland Garros should actually apply light in the stadium so matches can finish at night.

Federer Vs Monfils

The match which will determine the semi final opponent of Novak Djokovic. Federer comes in this match after playing a great first week and still yet to drop a set. Monfils comes in after winning a marathon match the day before against David Ferrer. Federer has the advantage physically and mentally in this match, even with a victory against Monfils in the French open in 2008 and 2009. The crowd will be behind Monfils today, however I believe they’ll show respect towards Federer in this match.

Effortless tennis by Federer.

The crowd all on their feet for Monfils.

I predict Federer in straight sets once again, though i’ll support Monfils. Federer will be a tough match up for Djokovic, especially with Djokovic fighting for equalling history.

Schiavone Vs Pavlyuchenkova

Pavlyuchenkova has finally made her breakthrough in a grand slam after shocking number 3 seed Vera Zvonereva in the previous round. The teenager faces the veteran Schiavone who beat Jankovic in the thrilling sets. Both women will fight for each point and attempt to out hit the other. Schiavone is likely to have the edge due to her grand slam experience, her current form and the possible support she’ll have from the crowd. I predict Schiavone in two sets.

Schiavone celebrates victory against Jankovic.

Kuznetsova Vs Bartoli

Many bets have predicted a Wozniacki and Stosur quarter. However, these two have taken advantage of their upsets. Bartoli has been a crowd favourite in the tournament. The question is, how does she use this support today against her opponent. Kuznetsova will be facing off against Bartoli with the confidence of winning the tournament in 2009. Although the crowd will be behind Bartoli, my prediction is that Kuznetsova will make quick work with the French woman in two sets and set up a possible encounter with Schiavone.

Marion Bartoli is the last french woman left in the french open.

Fabio Fognini: Man Of The Day

As the whole world is focused on the Swiss maestro Roger Federer on centre court, meanwhile on court Suzanne Lenglen, a battle has taken place between two unseeded players.

Representing Spain, we have Albert Montanes, thirty years old, ranked number 38 and fighting for his first ever grand slam quarter final.

Albert Montanes fighting for his first grand slam quarter final.

On the other side of the net we have Italian Fabio Fognini, twenty four years old, ranked 47 in the world and just reached the fourth round of a gran slam for the fist time.

Fognini fights Montanes for first quarter final.

The match was scheduled as the first in Suzanne Lenglen. Many were focused instead on Vera Zvonereva who lost her fourth round match today against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. By this time, the match had already reached the fourth set which was won by the Italian, leveling it at two sets all and the beginning of the fifth and final set.

Albert Montanes began to take control as he lead 5-2 in the final set. However, he failed to take advantage of this lead as Fognini fought back to equal 5-5. Both men then continued to hold their games comfortably, with Montanes fighting for a few match points.

As Fognini served at 6-7, 15-30, two points from defeat, he suddenly began to feel the unbearable pain of cramps in his left thigh. A controversial decision was made as he received a medical time out mid-game and fighting for serve. It’s interesting to note that medical timeouts for cramps in no longer allowed.

Fabio Fognini in obvious pain.

However Fabio continued to fight back, only restricted to move side by side. He faced numerous match points which were wasted by Montanes and also made a large number of foot faults. The crowd were divided, some were supporting his fighting spirit, other accused him of cheating.

After blowing several match points, Montanes lost his service game which put Fognini ahead at 10-9. After 4 hours and 22 minutes, he served through the pain to stun the thirty year old and win his match 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-3 11-9. Up next, Fognini will face Novak Djokovic in his first grand slam quarter final. This makes him the first Italian man into the final 8 of Roland Garros since 1995.

Fognini battles through the pain to win his match.

The Italian committed a total of 104 errors in the match. He admitted after the match that he may be unable to compete in his quarter final match saying “I am in a lot of pain. It’s not cramp, I felt the muscle stretch. I have 48 hours to recover. I don’t know about the next match. I will go and see the doctor and then see what happens.”

Many fans have shown support for Fognini, while other have labeled him as a drama queen. For me, Fognini fought hard and showed his fierce fighting spirit which he brings to the game. In my opinion, this has been the best match so far in this years french open. I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to the ATP tour in the future. Although it’s certain Djokovic will win, i’ll be going for the underdog Fognini in their next match. Good Luck Fabio Fognini in your next match and your future in your tennis career.

French Open Women’s Analysis: One Week Later

The womens draw has been far from boring. There are surprises from all areas in the draw. It’s started off with the absence of the Williams sisters and followed by a string of surprising upsets. As we go into the final week of the tournament, let’s see which of the final sixteen women will take home the second grand slam of the year.

Quarter 1:

Previous prediction: Kuznetsova Vs Stosur

I was obviously wrong here. I was so sure Stosur would get this far into the tournament. The remaining players left in this draw are Daniela Hantuchova, Svetlana Kuznetova, Marion Bartoli and Gisela Dulko. After winning the French open two years ago, Svetlana seems sure to win this quarter. However, her next opponent Daniela Hantuchova is coming in with sky high confidence and playing amazing tennis after ousting the world number one Caroline Wozniacki. Whether she can maintain this performance is what we’ll find out today. Home favourite Bartoli is the only French woman left in the draw and has also dug deep to get past her previous match against rising star Julia Goerges. She faces Gisela Dulko who defeated last years runner up Sammantha Stosur in three sets. This match could go either way, but as much as my support goes for Dulko, I’m seeing Bartoli sailing into the quarters.

Kuznetsova Vs Bartoli

The French crowd will really be behind Bartoli. But Kuznetsova seems more superior in these grand slam situations.

Semi Finalist: Kuznetsova

Quarter 2: 

Previous Prediction: Zvonereva Vs Schiavone

My two picks for this quarter are still alive and so are their main competitors. World number three Vera Zvonereva will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round. Zvonereva comes into this next match with a victory against Pavlyuchenova on clay this year as well as her grand slam experience. Francesca Schiavone will face Jelena Jankovic in what promises to be a hard fought match between these two fighters. Both women have the game and the experience to claim victory. Jankovic has won their last three encounters with last being on clay. Although the stats favour the Serb, my pick for this match is Schiavone, which is based purely on her improvement and her current form since those previous matches.

Zvonereva Vs Schiavone

This is another interesting math up for Schiavone. Zvonareva has won all their previous encounters, which is why my decision is pretty controversial. I believe Schiavone will come through in a tough match. But as I write this Zvonereva just lost. xD

Semi Finalist: Schiavone

Quarter 3:

Previous: Azarenka Vs Li Na

My prediction is still possible but the only thing stopping this is Petra Kvitova. Kvitova is coming in with a huge rise in the rankings in the past year. She faces Australian open finalist Li Na who has played very solid tennis so far. This match could go either way. Azarenka is facing a surprising opponent Ekaterina Makarova who defeated 16th seed Kaia Kanepi in the previous round.

Azarenka Vs Li Na

Azarenka should take this one out because of her current for, but Li Na will be challenging her during every shot of the match.

Semi Finalist: Azarenka

Quarter 4:

Previous: Clijsters Vs Sharapova

Early round upsets has been common in the past grand slams, but the upset of Clijsters was really unexpected. Sharapova faces the polish player Agnieszka Radwanska who will take her every inch of the courts surface. On the other match, we have rising star Andrea Petkovic taking on Maria Kirilenko. Kirilenko has taken advantage of Clijsters upset and now finds herself into the fourth round. This will be the battle of the groundstrokes, but I believe we’ll be seeing the Petko dance at the end of this.

Sharapova Vs Petkovic

Petkovic defeated Sharapova in Australian Open but Sharapova got revenge in Miami. It’s difficult to predict, but I’ll stick by Sharapova.

Semi Finalist: Sharapova

Semi Finals:

Kuznetsuva Vs Schiavone

This is a replay of the epic match which took place in Australia, which went for four hours and ended at 16-14 with victory for Schiavone. Hopefully we have a replay here, but both women will ensure that doesn’t happen. It’s hard to predict as they’re the last two winners. My pick is on who I think will play better on the day.

Winner: Schaivone

Azarenka Vs Sharapova

Prepare your earplugs! This promises to be a loud one. I’m looking forward to this. It’ll be Azarenka’s first semi and Sharapova’s first since the injury. I would think Azarenka but Sharapova has recently defeated her on clay. For now, this one’s a lottery pick.

Winner: Azarenka

Grand Final

Schiavone Vs Azarenka

I still stand by my first prediction, though Kuznetsuva and Sharapova could be here instead. I reckon Schiavone will have that extra edge over Azarenka as she’s already won a grand slam.

Champion: Schiavone