Azarenka Quarter, Top Half – This quarter is full of players who have had either a solid clay season, or a rather succesful six months, and may offer up many entertaining early round matches devoid of big names. Wozniak, Cibulkova, Cetovska, Halep, Safarova and even French youngster Caroline Garcia are names to keep an eye out for early.
This will be of little consequence to top seed Victoria Azarenka, however, as she will avoid most of these potentially dangerous names and should make the quarterfinals in rather straight forward fashion.
The main challenge for her will not come until the quarterfinals. Stosur sits on the opposite side. She will need to get past Petrova first, a match up that offered up an epic 3 set tilt at the US Open last year. Clay gives the advantage to Stosur, however, and I like her chances for success in Paris once again.
Despite some interesting names, there are very few players that can really threaten Azarenka or Stosur early. If you’re a fan of either of these players, you should like their chances, as do I.
Predicted Quarterfinal – Azarenka vs. Stosur
Radwanska Quarter, Top Half – It should be immediately clear that this quarter is minefield of early round matches and disasters waiting to happen. Radwanska has played an incredible amount of tennis this year, and I am not completely convinced of her chances on the slow Roland Garros clay. She gets Williams in the second, yes, SECOND round. Truly, that match is anyone’s guess.
Two other Roland Garros champions and possible hijackers of the apple cart are Ivanovic and Kuznetsova. Ivanovic may have a tricky match against Errani, who has been fantastic of late, in the third round. Regardless, her draw is rather do able and a fourth round finish is a must. Beyond that is not out of the question either.
Elsewhere, Bartoli and up and coming Kerber are on course for an absolute thriller of a fourth round bash. Pennetta and a recently of form Medina Garrigues will have other ideas, however. Personally, I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from Kerber this year and I really don’t think she will be stopping any time soon. Her power game translates well on to clay (rather like Kvitova or even a Stosur) and she will give Bartoli massive problems.
Predicted Quarterfinal – Ivanovic vs. Kerber
Kvitova’s Quarter, Bottom Half – Not only does this quarter feature the past two RG champions, it features both of last year’s finalists. In my opinion, this quarter is the most difficult to predict and will serve up the most upsets and largely bizaare results.
Schiavone, ranked only in the top 20 from her finalist points of last year, won Strasbourg this past week. She is a streaky player and thrives off confidence and the mental game. A successful week may just be the thing she needs to have a good week.
Similarly, Li Na is a player coming off success, the type of succes she may need to kickstart her championship defense. However, she has a tough first round opponent in Sorana Cirstea. Haha. No, really. Seriously. She should be fine, though.
Kvitova is coming off a rather serious injury, and in all honesty, I don’t think she will find much success here. Other question marks are raised by Zvonareva and Jankovic. Overall, however, the quarter is there for the taken.
Predicted Quarterfinal – Na vs. Schiavone
Sharapova’s Quarter, Bottom Half – This quarter should really come with an asterik of “Williams’ Quarter?” There are some other good clay grinders in this quarter, Wozniacki, Kirilenko, Rezai, Goerges… unfortunately all of these players have the exact wrong styles of game to upset the power houses of Masha or Serena. The end. There would have to be an absolute seismic collapse of one of these players or a career showing from one of these players to prevent the quarterfinal match we all want to have happen. I don’t see it happening.
Predicted Quarterfinal – Sharapova vs. Williams