Roland Garros Quarterfinal Preview – The Women

Written By: achangeofends - May• 30•11

Sventlana Kuznetsova (13) vs. Marion Bartoli (11)

Svetlana Kuznetsova won this title in 2009 and yet somehow everyone seemed to have written her out of the equation this year. She’s only 25 and still has the skills it takes to win a Slam. The women’s field is wide open so it seems almost ridiculous to write off a two time Slam champion just because she’s been in a bit of a slump. Her track record at Roland Garros is stellar, a finalist in 2006, quarters in ’07, semis in ’08, and winner in ’09. Marion is carrying the French flag for the women, the only one remaining in the women’s draw. Marion has never gotten this far at Roland Garros before and the crowd should give her an extra boost of morale, which makes this match kind of a toss up.

Winner: Svetlana Kuznetsova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (14) vs. Francesca Schiavone (5)

When Francesca Schiavone won Roland Garros last year, everyone called it a surprise, a fluke, one final push for a tour veteran. However, Schiavone has backed up her performance and stuck around the Top 10 all year. It was almost laughable to believe Fran could defend her title and become a two time Grand Slam champion, yet somehow, she’s emerged as a kind of favorite. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is in her very first Grand Slam quarterfinal and had a stellar win over 3rd seed Vera Zvonareva in the 4th Round. I suppose I could call all the women’s quarterfinals a toss up, but that wouldn’t be interesting, now would it?

Winner: Francesca Schiavone

Li Na (6) vs. Victoria Azarenka (4)

Li Na had a dream run in January when she made it to the Australian Open final and then proceeded to win almost no matches. It looks like she’s found her form just in time for the second Slam on the year and that’s good to see. No one talked about her as a contender when the draw came out, but she’s been systematically working her way through. On the other hand, Azarenka has been discussed as a real threat at the last several Slams, but has yet to live up to her potential, mostly because she always seems to be injured. Vika has made the quarterfinals in Paris once before, but has never surpassed this stage of the tournament at any Grand Slam. If she can stay healthy, she has an excellent chance of winning her first major title this year in Paris.

Winner: Victoria Azarenka

Maria Sharapova (7) vs. Andrea Petkovic (15)

Maria Sharapova once described herself as a cow on ice when playing on clay, laughing off the idea of ever winning a career Grand Slam. Yet, somehow, she’s in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros for the fifth time. Her best result in Paris was a semifinal appearance in 2007, but she has an excellent chance of making that happen again this year. Petkovic is all kinds of relevant right now. She’s quickly working her way up the rankings, but Maria has three Grand Slams under her belt and that’s going to make her tough to beat. Add Sharapova’s title in Rome a couple of weeks ago and her ability to claw her way back into a match even after a tough start and Andrea’s got her work cut out for her.

Winner: Maria Sharapova

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