Tuesday, June 02, 2015

2015 FRENCH OPEN: Women's Quarterfinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the 2015 women's quarterfinals at the French Open. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 2 of 4 men's quarterfinals. I will try to predict the men's quarterfinals in a separate post.

Serena Williams [1] vs Sara Errani [14].  For the third round in a row, Serena lost the first set and had to make a dramatic comeback  to keep her hopes of winning her 3rd French Open alive. She had nearly twice as many unforced errors in her 1-6 7-5 6-3 win in the 4th round over Sloane Stephens. Happily, she will play Sara Errani whom she has only lost one set against in 7 matches, but Errani did win a non-tour match on clay in Federation Cup competition during the Spring on home turf in Italy. Errani has reached the French Open final herself and is averaging an astonishing 15 unforced errors per match in the first four rounds, including a mere 3 unforced errors in her fourth round win (forty less than Serena at the same stage of the tournament). Regardless, this tournament is clearly now Serena's to lose and  I find it impossible to believe that Sara Errani is going to be the player to prevent that from happening. Mad Professah's Pick: Williams.

Timea Bacsinszky [23] Petra Kvitova [4] vs Alison Van Uytvanck. What can you do with a problem like P3tra? No one expected these two players in the quarterfinals, probably not even their own coaches! After winning the first set Kvitova lost the second set 0-6 and while most observers just thought "Oh there she goes again!" no one really expected the 2-time major champion to lose that match against someone who had never advanced past the 3rd round of a major despite being on the tour for more than seven years. One of these two players will be in the semifinals and probably win more money by losing that match then they made all last year on tour. Mad Professah's pick: Bacinszky.

Ana Ivanovic [8] vs Elina Svitolina [23] Simona Halep [3]. The only remaining major champion in the draw other than Serena is Ivanovic and she won her major here at Roland Garros exactly 7 years ago. She has never lost to the young Svitolina in 7 meetings and I don't expect her to do so in a match that will return her to the Final Four in a major for the first time since she won the whole thing seven years ago. However, I'm sure nerves will be an issue since she has lost the last two quarterfinals she has played in during this long barren period (2012 U.S. Open and 2014 Australian Open). Mad Professah's pick: Ivanovic.

Garbine Muguruza [21] vs Lucie Safarova [13] Maria Sharapova [2].  These two hard-hitting players have never met on tour before. This should probably be the best match of the four quarterfinals, although the Ivanovic-Svitolina match-up will be fun to watch as well. Muguruza upset the defending champion Serena Williams in the 2nd round last year on her way to reaching her first major quarterfinal here at Roland Garros. Safarova is playing some of the best tennis of her career and thanks to her stunning upset of defending champion Maria Sharapova, the Czech player will finally break through into the WTA Top 10. I do expect to reach major semifinals and possibly finals in the near future, but not this weekMad Professah's pick: Safarova.

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