A personal blog by a Black, Gay, Caribbean, Liberal, Progressive, Moderate, Fit, Geeky, Married, College-Educated, NPR-Listening, Tennis-Playing, Feminist, Atheist, Math Professor in Los Angeles, California
Serena Williams  vs Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) Yulia Putintseva (KAZ). I expected that Serena would be facing the talented Spaniard instead of the 21-year-old fireplug from Kazakhstan. Serena is playing in her 10th quarterfinal at Roland Garros while Putintseva, 13 years her junior, is playing in her first. The two have met twice before, and although clay is the youngster's best surface she has yet to win a set against the World #1 and it is doubtful that will have changed after their match on Thursday. Mad Professah's Pick: S. Williams. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)  vsMadison Keys (USA)  Kiki Bertens (NED). This was another surprise match up because I expected the big hitting Keys to be able to dismiss the white-hot Bertens. Despite my affection and respect for Venus Williams I didn't really think she had very much of a chance of coming out as a victor against the higher ranked Bacsinszky and I was correct. Bacsinszky was able to reach the semifinal here last year, and this is a very winnable match for the Swiss player to defend those points. In fact, Bacsinszky played Serena very tough in last year's semifinal, and this year she is playing even better, and is yet to lose a set at this year's French Open. I expect she will relish the challenge to face Serena in another high stakes meeting. Mad Professah's pick: Bacsinszky.