Roland Garros - Preview Notes - Thursday 29th May 2014
Court Philippe Chatrier
J Jankovic Vs. K Nara
The Serbian player will go into her second round match knowing she has a real battle on her hand if she wants to proceed to the next round. The two have played twice in their careers and both encounters have been at Grand Slam Events. Both occasions Jankovic has won but in two tight sets with the last meeting taking place in Melbourne this year. Jankovic will be looking to build on her form considering her battle in the first round with Sharon Fichman. The Serb will know is in the same half which Li Na was in and is possibly looking to build on the world number two's loss and reach the final for the first time.
PREDICTION: Could be a three set battle for Jankovic who will come but should be a long hard battle
R Nadal Vs. D Thiem
The eight times winner and Reigning Champion comes into his second round clash with a tricky test awaiting him in the shape of Dominic Thiem. Thiem is widely regarded as the next generation to come up after the 'top four' era has ended. Thiem beat Stan Wawrinka in Madrid in three tough sets few weeks ago, showing he has the potential to test Nadal. Nadal will be hoping to push Thiem in his backhand corner and push it up high as the youngster uses a one-handed backhand. Nadal will be very nervous after watching the women's champion, Serena Williams go out today against another 'upcomer'. Nadal will also be hoping to see what type of shape he is in, after an easy first round match. Thiem will come into the match with new belief given the results Nadal has posted on clay. But the Champion should prove to be too much for the new Thiem.
Prediction: The Champion to come through but it could be four long hard sets for Nadal with the chance of getting his feet quite dirty in his beloved clay.
R Gasquet Vs. C Berlocq
This is the first meeting between the two man and Berlocq will be feeling confident going into the match. Gasquet has been out injured since Miami and his only win was in the first round against Bernard Tomic. Berlocq will be feeling high on confidence given his first round win against the former world number one Lleyton Hewitt. The Argentine will be feeling he has a definite shot at Gasquet following his Title win in Oeiras and in the final he beat Tomas Berdych. Gasquet will be hoping the crowd will pull him through his opponent and his injury which he has stated has not gone away totally. He was not unsure if he was going to play in Paris last week. Given all the upsets that have happened in Paris, Berlocq could be the winner.
PREDICTION: Berlocq to cause another shock and topple the talented Gasquet who could be found wanting with no matches under his belt since March.
E Svitolina Vs. A Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic must have looked at the draw in Paris with a heavy heart after seeing her name against the young Caroline Garcia. Ivanovic came through very easily and showed why she is coming back up, with a run and with a shot at the Title for the second time in Paris. With the next round comes another teenager for the Serb. The pair have met on three prevous occasions, with Ivanovic having won all three matches. However, the last meeting at Indian Wells was in three tight sets. The clay should be an advantage for Ivanovic as Svitolina has struggled on the European clay this year.
PREDICTION: A straight sets win for Ivanovic, but a close set in one of the sets should be expected
Court Suzanne Lenglen
S Bolelli Vs. D Ferrer
Last year's finalist comes into Roland Garros without having his usual solid results to his name. Although he will be more than pleased to have finally beaten Rafael Nadal on clay for the first time. Bolelli will struggle to hit through Ferrer as he does not have the firepower of other men on the ATP Tour. Ferrer will be looking to defend as many ranking points as possible as he could face Nadal in the quarter finals. Ferrer will also look at the head to head facts and know he has never lost to the Italian in four attempts and even more telling, he has never lost a set to Bolelli,
PREDICTION: Ferrer to record a straight sets win and push his way towards a quarter-final match with Nadal
A Riske Vs. K Mladenovic
Kristina Mladenovic or 'Kiki' as she is commonly known in France will want to build on the biggest win of her career by reaching the Third Round of Roland Garros for the first time. A lot has been expected of the young Frenchwoman ever since she won the Girl's Junior Title in Paris. Alison Riske however will be hoping that Mladenvoic will have a mental breakdown after such a big win. The pair have never paid before and a big court and court will await both woman.
PREDICTION: A win for the home player Mladenovic but this could be a lose three set battle thrilling the home crowd once again
P Kvitova Vs. M Erakovic
Petra Kvitova comes into Paris after a tough second round loss in Rome. After having a solid season without a Title, Kvitova will be looking for a good run at the Grand Slam which is her least favourite. Erakovic will be looking to push Kvitova to three sets. Kvitova last year was the player who played the most three set matches showing her ability to lose focus for no apparent reason during matches, this could lead Erakovic go through on the clay courts. The pair have played three times on the WTA Tour, the last meeting taking place in Cinncinnati where Kvitova won in three sets!
PREDICTION: A three set win for Kvitova, showing her up and down nature on a Tennis court!
G Monfils Vs. J L Struff
Monfils will come into the match knowing he should produce a dashing display for his home crowd and move into the last thirty two. But awaits him is Jan-Lennard Struff, and Monfils has shown in the past he can struggle against the lesser ranked opponents and can get into dogfights often being passed to five sets. The Frenchmen will still remember his semi final loss in Paris where he lost to Roger Federer in five sets thus losing his best chance to win his maiden Grand Slam Title. This is the first meeting between the two men and should mean a victory for Monfils but prior results show otherwise.
PREDICTION: A victory for the Frenchmen but this could be a long hard match for victory for Gael.
S Stephens Vs. P Hercog
Sloane Stephens comes into Paris having lost her last two matches in Rome and Strasbourg. The American does seem to play her best at the Grand Slam Events. Hercog has never shown the results many expected her to reach. Injury this year has stopped Hercog from pushing further up the rankings. The pair have never met before on the WTA Tour and Hercog has yet show a run at a Grand Slam Tournament.
PREDICTION A three-set for Stephens
G Garcia-Lopez Vs. A Mannarino
Guillermo Garcia Lopez will look to build on his career breaking win over Stan Wawrinka by defeating local hope Adrian Mannarino. The Spaniard will hope that history does not prove to strike, with many players after defeating a top ranked player often lose in the next round. The pair have met just the once on the ATP Tour with the Spaniard coming through in straight sets on the hard courts of Auckland in 2012. The home crowd will try to push their player through but Garcia-Lopez should have too much for Mannarino on the clay courts of Paris.
PREDICTION: A four set win for Garcia-Lopez but could be very entertaining for the home crowd
M Matosevic Vs. A Murray
The Wimbledon Champion will come into the match brimming with confidence after an impressive first round victory and also his loss to Nadal in the quarter finals of Rome. Murray is still keeping the Tennis world guessing with who is new Coach will be. During his second round match the main topic of conversation could be this. The Australian will struggle with the match up against Murray given his lack of firepower. He will need to come onto court and try and dictate play from the first point. Murray will be looking to try and get more confidence on the clay as he goes further in the draw. Murray won their only encounter at Queen's last year in straight sets and he will be looking for more of the same.
PREDICTION: A straight sets win for Murray as he goes deeper into the draw
H Watson V S Halep
The new world number four will go into the match brimming with confidence given the pair's only previous meeting was at last year's US Open in the first round. Halep won in three sets but she was also very tired given she had just claimed the New Haven title three days prior to the match. Watson had her chance's to claim a big win as she led by a set and a break. Given the surface is now clay this should hinder Watson, as she prefers the hard courts. Halep will also want a quick match as she looks to build a run to her first Grand Slam Title
PREDICTION: A straight sets win for Halep
C Giorgi Vs. S Kuznetsova
Perhaps the most entertaining match of the day in the women's draw. Camilla Giorgi has shown her ability to beat top players on the big courts with wins over Maria Sharapova in Indian Wells and Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open. Kuznetsova comes into Roland Garros with some good results on her beloved clay courts. The pair have never played before and Kuznetsova will know the ability of the Italian. Giorgi will look to reach the last thirty two at Roland Garros for the first time.
PREDICTION: A shock could happen. There could be a win for Giorgi
D Pfizenmaier Vs. S Errani
Last year's surprise last thirty two entrant Pfizenmaier finds herself facing the WTA's clay court specialist Sara Errani. The German has continued her rise up the rankings and is now placed inside the top hundred. The Italian comes into Roland Garros with heavy ranking points to defend having reached the semi finals last year. The young German will cause trouble for Errani with her powerful ground strokes but Errani should prove too much for Pfizenmaier on the clay in Paris
PREDICTION: A straight sets win for Errani
P Cuevas Vs. F Verdasco
Fernando Verdasco comes into Roland Garros with some solid clay court results to his name. Pablo Cuevas is struggling to get his ranking into the top hundred but has won two Challenger events prior to Roland Garros. In the pair's only meeting, Cuevas won in straight sets but this was in 2008. Cuevas will be feeling confident having won so many matches on the clay this year and also coming through his first round win. Verdasco will have his work cut out for if he is to progress to the next round.
PREDICTION: A four set victory for Verdasco but could go five sets
T Bellucci Vs. F Fognini
Fabio Fognini will approach the match with confidence having beaten Bellucci in their two encounters on the ATP Tour. Every body's favourite bad boy of Tennis beat Bellucci this year on the clay courts of Munich in straight sets. Bellucci will know if he can upset the Italian he will always be with a chance in the match especially with the vocal Paris crowd. Fognini's should have too much for Bellucci, who has struggled to get wins on the clay courts this year.
PREDICTION: A win for Fognini, a match which could see drama coming from a certain Italian!
D Young Vs. F Lopez
Feliciano Lopez will come into the match knowing he has a great chance to make the next round in the Men's Singles draw. Donald Young will have his cut out to move past the Spaniard on the clay courts. Although Young has claimed a victory over the higher ranked Lopez. Lopez should have enough firepower to move Young from side to side on the clay courts in Paris. The American who struggles to find his footing when playing on the clay.
PREDICTION: A comfortable win for Lopez as he looks to make his way through the draw in Paris
A Seppi Vs. J Monaco
Andreas Seppi will approach the match with caution as he has a losing head to head against the talented Juan Monaco of Argentina. Although they have not met since 2011, the last meeting was at a Grand Slam in New York with Monaco coming out the winner in straight sets. The Italian has not won many matches on the clay court season this year and could find this battle very difficult to overcome. Monaco has proven himself on the clay courts and could fancy becoming on the list of players upsetting the seeds at Roland Garros this year.
PREDICTION: Monaco to cause another upset and defeat Seppi in four sets
T Pereira Vs. S Cirstea
Sorana Cirstea comes into Roland Garros without much form and hardly any wins on the clay courts. The Brazilian however is full of confidence and in her first round win become the first woman from her country to win a Grand Slam match since 1999. Cirstea who is known for up and down play, will come into the match knowing that she lost their only encounter this year on the green clay in Charleston on a final set tiebreaker. The Romanian had ample opportunities in the match to have come through the winner.
PREDICTION: Cirstea to win in three sets but don't be surprised to see the same result as Charleston
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.