Kuznetsova Battles Past Kvitova

 Svetlana Kuznetsova has defeated Petra Kvitova in a spirited three set battle to reach the fourth round in Paris. For me this was certainly the best match of the tournament so far. Both ladies would feel that they deserved to win the match but only one of them could advance to the fourth round.

 It was Kvitova who started the match on fire, breaking early and taking a 3-1 lead. This first set was full of momentum swings and it Kuznetsova who would win the next four games as Kvitova started hitting wild errors. From here both ladies were able to hold serve, forcing the opening set into a tiebreaker. Kvitova really upped her level, dominating in the tiebreaker.

The second set was all one-way traffic; this is of course all too familiar for Kvitova. Petra hit 15 unforced errors to just 6 winners, a totally uncompetitive statistic. Kvitova looked to be struggling with a thigh injury, as she called for the trainer and decided to leave the court for a medical timeout.

 The third set is when the real drama really started. It was Kvitova who stunned Kuznetsova early in the third set, her forehand on fire. Kvitova surging to a 3-1 lead. Kuznetsova would hit straight back, fighting hard for every single point, taking a 4-3 lead. At 4-5 Kvitova would serve to stay in the match and would fall behind 15-40. Kvitova managed to save the two match points, the last of which with a volley that just clipped the baseline. Kvitova held, producing some stunning tennis. At 6-5 Kvitova had the chance to serve out the match but a weak service game saw her broken to 15. At 7-6 Kvitova would again serve for the match and once again she didn't get close. At 7-8 Kvitova would serve to stay in the match and failed courtesy of another weak service game.

Kvitova came up with some stunning winners in the final set but ultimately she hit too many errors. The Czech hit a whopping 65 unforced errors in the match compared to 49 winners. The match was all on Kvitova’s racquet, unfortunately she wasn't able to compose herself and serve it out when she twice had the chance to.

Roland Garros – Day 7 – Match Predictions

Day 6 saw yet another stunning upset, world number three Agnieszka Radwanska bundled out of the tournament by Ajla Tomljanovic. Day 7 has the best lineup on womens side thus far, I am really looking forward to several matches today..

(5) Petra Kvitova vs. (27) Svetlana Kuznetsova

First up on Court Philippe Chatrier is Kvitova vs Kuznetsova, this promises to be one of the match of the day. Kuznetsova has had an admirable resurgence back up the rankings in recent months. The Russian has had a solid clay court season and will come into this match as the slight favourite.

Kivtova had a good run in Madrid where she reached the semifinals but was knocked out in her opening match in Rome and Stuttgart. The Czech has been solid in her opening two matches and can take confidence into this match knowing that she has never lost to Kuznetsova.

Kvitova has won all three of their previous encounter, the most recent of these was this season at Indian Wells where Kvitova won the third set 6-0. I think Kvitova will win this match with a somewhat similar scoreline

Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 4-6 6-1

(11) Ana Ivanovic vs. (23) Lucie Safarova

This promises to be a very entertaining match with a number of swings in momentum.

Ivanovic comes into this match having played the better tennis in the last few weeks. Ivanovic is now widely considered as one of the favourites to go all the way in Paris but Safarova will be no easy beat. Safarova survived an almighty scare in the second round, giving up a 5-2 30-0 lead against Casey Dellacqua in the second set to lose it 7-5. Safarova rallied to take the third set 6-3, a gutsy effort.

Interestingly Safarova has won the last 4 matches against Ivanovic. Ivanovic won their only meeting on clay, which came back in 2008 at Roland Garros. This is a real real danger game for Ivanovic, Safarova is certainly capable. It will come down to who is able to step up and dominate the rallies.

I really hope Safarova wins, I think she can win but Ivanovic is certainly the favourite heading into the match

Prediction: Ana Ivanovic to defeat Lucie Safarova 3-6 6-2 6-3

Other match predictions:

(10) Sara Errani to defeat Julia Glushko in straight sets

(28) Andrea Petkovic to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets

(15) Sloane Stephens to defeat (22) Ekaterina Makarova In three sets

(4) Simona Halep to defeat Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor in straight sets

(26) Sorana Cirstea to defeat (6) Jelana Jankovic in three sets

Silvia Soler-Espinosa to defeat (Q) Kiki Bertens in straight sets

Sluggish Radwanska Stumbles in Third Round

World number three Agnieszka Radwanska is the latest big name to exit early in Paris, losing to Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets6-4 6-4. Just when it seemed there may be a chance for Radwanska to go all the way in Paris, she produced one of her worst performances of the season. For Tomljanovic this is the biggest win of her career, as she advances to the 4th round in her first ever appearance at Roland Garros.

Radwanska started the match with a strong service hold but it was all down hill from here. Tomljanovic won five consecutive games, it was all too easy for the Croatian who was barley tested by Radwanska. The Pole was totally off, hitting numerous uncharacteristic errors. Radwanska did fight back, winning three straight games to cut Ajla's lead to 5-4. Tomljanovic steadied to serve out the set, taking it 6-4.

The  second set started with an easy break of serve for Tomljanovic, who consolidated the break in the very next game. The unseeded world number 72 would hold onto this slim lead for the entire set. Serving at 4-3 Tomljanovic faced several break points but somehow managed to hold. I feel that if Radwanska was able to break serve here the result would have been very different. At 5-4 it was Tomljanovic's chance to serve for the match. It was a bitterly disappointing game from Radwanska, hitting numerous unforced errors handing the match to the Croatian on a sliver platter.

A big win for Tomljanovic but for me this match was more about Radwanska playing poorly than it was about Tomljanovic playing well.

Roland Garros – Day 6 – 3rd Round Match Predictions

The third round kicks off on friday as things begin to heat up in Paris.    On paper, Saturdays line up of matches is much better than fridays but there are still some quality matches.

(9) Dominika Cibulkova vs. (19) Samantha Stosur

This is my pick for the best match of the day. Domi Cibulkova up against Sam Stosur for a spot in the fourth round. Both ladies cruised through their opening round matches, Stosur has been particularly impressive.

Sam Stosur has won all four of their previous encounters, their most recent match was an easy two set win for Sam in Rome just a few weeks ago. The Slovakian doesn't match up well against the Aussie, Domi really struggles with the kick serve of Sam Stosur.

I do think that Domi is better prepared this time compared to Rome and it will be a much closer match. Stosur is definitely the favourite but I am sensing an upset.

Prediction: Dominika Cibulkvoa to defeat Sam Stosur 4-6 6-1 6-3

(3)  Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Ajla Tomljanovic

Aga Radwanska is now the highest seed left in the womens draw and has a big opportunity to reach the semi finals. There is no reason why Aga can't go all the way in Paris (Sharapova is the biggest obstacle at the moment).

Aga comes into this match as the strong favourite, on the back of strong recent from. Radwanska has cruised through her opening two matches and should be able to get through this one in two sets.

Tomljanovic is certainly no easy beat, she has had two solid victories over competent players but this is a step up.

Prediction: Radwanska to defeat Tomljanovic 6-3 6-3

Other match predictions

(14) Carla Suarez Navarro to defeat Taylor Townsend in straight sets

Garbine Muguruza to defeat Karolina Anna Schmiedlova in three sets

(7) Maria Sharapova to defeat Paula Ormaechea in straight sets

(18) Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Johanna Larsson in straight sets

(8) Angelique Kerber to defeat (31) Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets

 Mona Barthel to defeat (WC) Pauline Parmentier in three sets

Jankovic Eases into the Third Round

6th seed Jelana Jankovic has cruised into the third round at Roland Garros, disposing of Japan's Kurum Nara in straight sets.  Jankovic was far from her best but did what she had to do.

The first set was a scrappy affair, it really could have gone either way.  The first 10 games of the set went to the server, Jankovic finally broke the trend in the eleventh game. When serving for the set Jankovic raced away to a 40-0 lead but was unable to convert her first three set points. On her fourth opportunity, Jankovic finally converts to take the opening set 7-5.

The second set was all one way traffic. Jankovic dominated right from the very start when she broke Nara to love. Nara's level of play certainly dropped in the second set, hitting far too many unforced errors and allowing Jankovic to dictate the rallies.

A solid victory for Jankovic who still has a lot of room for improvement. The draw is open for Jankovic to go deep into the second week.