Tuesday, June 04, 2019

2019 FRENCH OPEN: Women's Quarterfinals Preview (and Predictions)

Here are my predictions for the women's quarterfinals at the 2019 French Open I have also predicted the men's quarterfinals. Last year I predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals correctly and 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals correctly.

Naomi Osaka (JPN) [1] Madison Keys (USA) [14] vs. Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [8]. Although it may seem surprising, Madison Keys actually plays some of her best tennis on clay courts. She reached the semifinals in Paris last year (where she was again not able to play her best tennis against her best friend on tour Sloane Stephens in another huge match). Both of these players have not been talked about much this year while 4/5ths of the World top 5 was crashing out in the early rounds (#1 Naomi Osaka and #2 Karolina Pliskova lost early  while #4 Kiki Bertens and #5 Petra Kvitova withdrew) but both have reached the business end of the tournament playing excellent tennis. Curiously, their head-to-head is tied at 1-apiece with Barty having won their last match (in Fed Cup) but Keys having won the one time that played on clay (two years ago). I'm going with Maddy. PREDICTION: Keys.

Simona Halep (ROU) [3] vs. Ananda Anisimova (USA).  This is Anisimova's major second week debut, which is pretty amazing for a 17 year old. The American phenom becomes the first person, male or female, born in the 21st century to reach a major quarterfinal. Halep completely destroyed her opponent in the previous round and is the defending champion here. I believe she will reach the final again, although I do think the youngster will acquit herself well. PREDICTION: Halep.

Kiki Bertens (NED) [4] Johanna Konta (GBR) [26] vs. Sloane Stephens (USA) [7].  This may be the most exciting of the four quarterfinals. Konta has never won a match in the main draw of the French Open before (is she going to try and pull a feast-or-famine performance reminiscent of 2017 winner Jelena Ostapenko?) while Stephens was in last year's final. Konta has been getting reasonably good results on clay, however, and has beaten Sloane twice this year (just a few weeks ago, on clay, in Rome as well as in Brisbane. However, I think that Sloane's game is bigger and more flexible that she can find different ways to win, which is really not true of Konta. PREDICTIONStephens

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [2] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) vs. Petra Martic (CRO) [31]. Yet another teenaged phenom in the final 8 of a major. Czech lefty Marketa Vondrousova has been one of the hottest players on tour all year long. Curiously, these two have already an established rivalry going, with Martic up 4-0 in the head-to-head, including in the final of the clay court tournament in Istanbul a month ago. Sometimes a bad matchup is a bad matchup. PREDICTION: Martic.

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