Friday, June 03, 2011

2011 FRENCH OPEN: Women's Final Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's finals at Roland Garros for 2011. This year, I correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 1 of 2 women's semifinals. I also correctly predicted 1 of 2 men's semifinals and  2 of 3 men's quarterfinals this year.

Francesca Schiavone ITA (5) vs. Na Li CHN (6). This should be an excellent match. Last year, Schiavone stunned the world by playing the match of her life to win her first major title just weeks before her 30th birthday over heavily favored Samantha Stosur. Schiavone had never been past the quarterfinal of any major despite playing in 35. Since then, after losing in the first round at Wimbledon, she has been in two consecutive major  quarterfinals and has not won a tour title since. That being said, she has returned to a second consecutive final appearance here in Paris, outlasting, outwitting and outplaying several hard-hitting players like Anastasia Pavlyunchenkova in the quarters and Marion Bartoli in the semis. Her opponent is Li Na, a hard-hitting player who dispatched 3-time major champion Maria Sharapova in the semifinals and Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals in straight sets by blasting winners into every corner of the court. Li is playing in her second major final of 2011, again becoming the first Chinese player (male or female) to play for a major title in Paris.

Head-to-head Schiavone and Li are tied at 2 wins apiece with the flashy Italian winning their one meeting on clay, at this tournament last year, relatively easily 6-4 6-2. However, 2011 is a completely different scenario for Schiavone than 2010. Last year, almost no one expected her to win so she faced almost no pressure, and was able to marshal all aspects of her all-court game and deploy all her crafty spins and slices to give the hard-hitting but mentally fragile Stosur fits. This year she is the defending champion, and she is expected to repeat her win here by many people. The more compelling storyline is owned by Li, who is aiming to be the first person from the most populous nation on earth to win a major title. As I said earlier, clay rewards excellent movement, and since both Schiavone and Li are excellent movers Schiavone's edge over most hard-hitters is muted. If Li can remain patient and not got frustrated by the variety of ball coming her way, she'll become a Grand Slam champion. PREDICTION: Li.


carter said...

Good match, good results.
Now as for tomorrow?!

Super Football said...

Li Na is my favorite player..Congratulation to her..this the first title of WTA tour...Keep on moving forward...CAIO..and Thanks for sharing your info...I am looking forward to the next articles...


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