French Open 2013 – week 2, Monday

The fourth round matches are due to be completed today and we will know the full quarter final line up.

 

Haas takes on Youzhny. He has  had a day’s rest to get over his long 5 setter with Isner. He looked pretty exhausted during the last couple of sets and if he was playing the next day I wouldn’t give him much hope. But professional athletes know how to recover and how to get their body ready for the next match. We have seen this from Robredo who had had 3 5 set matches before his match with Almagro. He was 2 sets down and 1-4 down in the third but came back to win ( aided in No small part by the choke of all chokes from Almagro).

Youzny will still be the fresher of the 2 players having beaten Tipsarevic in straight sets in the 3rd round.

If this was a first round match I would be all over Haas. The market has them at evens. Haas will want to get the job done in straight sets which is unlikely.

Youzny doesn’t have an amazing record in 5th sets in the last couple of years but if this one went the distance and taking into consideration Haas’ age and his previous match I would have to give the Russian the edge. Haas was able to get through the Isner match by  taking advantage of the fact that Isner couldn’t run due to cramping. he was using the drop shot knowing that the big American wouldn’t even try to chase it down.

Youzhny isn’t the brightest player when things aren’t going his way but unless he has a shocker I think he will take this one.

Update: He had a shocker. And then some!

Youzhny’s serve never really showed up. Haas won 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

 

Azarenaka wasn’t very convincing in her 3 set win over Cornet. She has had problems with the French crowd in previous years and was trying to keep any outbursts to a minimum which isn’t her way of doing things. Her serve was broken several times and I feel that if Cornet can trouble her then Schiavone can do the same. The crowd will be more than happy to see Schiavone win as she is loved in Paris as an ex champion.

The Italian will always have a few shocking games in a match but she seems to have found her clay form in recent weeks. She beat Bartoli ridiculously easily in the last round but if Bartoli was on the court with no opponent she wouldn’t be guaranteed to win.

1.18 on Azarenka is way too low and 3 sets are a real possibility. If Azarenka’s serve is at the same level as in her previous match she could be leaving the tournament this morning.

Update: Disappointing from Schiavone who just couldn’t hold serve after she held in her first game. She was able to break Aza’s serve a couple of times and was at 3-3 in set 1 but didn’t win another game.

Azarenka won 6-3, 6-0.

 

Kohlschreiber beat Djokovic at the French Open in 2009. Straight sets too! Djokovic is a man on a mission this year though as he tries to get the French open title for the first time.

I can see Kohlschreiber nicking a set but thats about the most we can expect.

Update: Kohlschreiber did take the opening set but you just can’t waste as many chances as the German did in this match and beat Djokovic.

Djokovic won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

 

I would imagine Jeremy Clarkson is a fan of Mattek Sands. I can just hear him shouting “POWER!!” as she tries to leather the ball harder and harder. Her confidence is sky high though and where in the past those strong shots would fly long or wide they are finding the lines.

Li wasn’t at her best in their 2nd round match but to be fair Sands didn’t allow her to settle. Other recent wins over Errani and Lisicki have increased the belief of the American.

Kirilenko has also been in excellent form this season and has been quietly going about her business at the French Open. She had a pretty comfortable draw to be fair but she has beaten the player in front of her which is all you can ask and she has done so without dropping a set.

They have met just once before which was in Miami this season and it was a comfortable win for Kirilenko. That was before Sands found her form though and I expect it to be a lot closer today.

If Sands can keep hitting with the  same power and accuracy as in recent matches then she looks good to take at least a set. Kirilenko’s experience really should be enough to drag herself through. Some of Mattek’s recent victims also had far great er experience but weren’t in the sort of form that Kirilenko is.

Update: Sands looked unbreakable in the first half of the set and  was a break up. She called an MTO after Kirilenko broke back. Kirilenko went on to take the set. In the second it was Kirilenko who broke first and even though Sands fought back it was the Russian who took the match in straight sets.

Kirilenko won 7-5, 6-4.

 

Amrican Jamie Hampton has had an amazing tournament. I am certain she never expected to still be there into the second week.  Whilst she has played well she has been helped by her opponents. Safarova and Kvitova were woeful from the service line.

Today’s opponent Jankovic has looked a little more solid than we have become used to. She has dropped just 1 set which was to Stosur in the third round.

A confident American is a dangerous animal ( and in fact is the reason baseball bats were invented ). Hampton has beaten Jankovic before when she won as a wild card in Indian Wells last year.

I think Jankovic should be able to take this and there’s a good chance that the occasion will get to Hampton. She will need Jankovic to give her a lot of help via double faults and shanked returns for her to take a place in the quarter finals. I think we will see Jankovic’s price go higher before it goes lower though and 1.70 will look a juicy entry.

Update: I think it’s fair to say the occasion got to Hampton.

Jankovic won 6-0, 6-2.

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