This Wednesday sees the eleventh day’s action at Roland Garros and the second group of four Quarter Final matches will be played.
Todays French Open eleventh day’s action at Roland Garros and the second group of four Quarter Final matches will be played. Who will progress to the Semi Finals? BetRepublic.com previews all four games here.
Today’s action from the Men’s draw sees the second and third seeds, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, battle it out against two players that I did not expect to do so well at Roland Garros in Nicolas Almagro and Jurgen Melzer. Who will be playing the last four stage of the competition?
Rafael Nadal v Nicolas Almagro:
Unsurprisingly, William Hill have made Nadal, the world number two, a massive favourite, at odds of 1/25, to defeat his fellow countryman and world number twenty-one, who is available at 9/1. It is not surprising as Nadal has won all six previous meetings between the two players and is in stunning form on the clay courts in Paris. Will Nadal claim another win against Almagro and progress to the Semi Finals?
Nadal is at home on clay and he has looked it in this year’s competition so far and he has won all four matches without dropping a set. Gianni Mina fell in the first round 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 before Horacio Zeballos lost 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in round two. Nadal then faced twenty-eighth seed Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in round three before disposing of twenty-fourth seed Thomaz Bellucci 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 to book his place in the last eight of the competition. Nadal was 4/9 to win the 2010 French Open before the tournament began and they look like long odds with his displays so far, will he rack up another straight sets win?
Almagro started his tournament off slowly and went to five sets to defeat world number 205 Robin Haase before beating both Steve Darcis in round two and Alexandr Dolgopolov Jr in round three in straight sets. In the fourth round the Spaniard defeated one of my dark horse tips in Fernando Verdasco, dropping just one set in the process. Can he cause a second, and larger, upset in the Quarter Finals?
Nadal will not fear Almagro, having never lost to him and having beaten him on clay at last month’s Madrid Masters. Nadal has dropped a set in the last two encounters between the two players but he has not dropped a set against Almagro in a Grand Slam match, including beating him 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 at the Quarter Final stage of the 2008 French Open. I feel that Nadal is almost unbeatable at the moment and he will win in straight sets, so back him to do so at odds of 4/9 with PaddyPower.com.
Novak Djokovic v Jurgen Melzer:
This match sees the third seed take on the twenty-second seed and William Hill have made the third seed, Djokovic, a large favourite to progress at odds of 1/4. Melzer is an 11/4 outsider to progress at the expense of the Serbian, but can the Austrian cause another shock?
Melzer has dropped just two sets on route to a Quarter Final place, with the first set dropped against Nicolas Mahut in round two and the second against Teimuraz Gabashvili in round four. His best performance came in the third round, where he defeated ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-0, 7-6. Can he put in a similar performance against the world number three for a place in the final four?
Djokovic has not had the best of years on clay and of his four matches so far at Roland Garros he has only won one in straight sets, with his first, third and fourth round matches all going to four sets. Djokovic has also had a fairly easy run of things so far, with thirty-first seed Victor Hanescu in the third round being only seeded player that Djokovic has faced on his run to the last eight. Can Djokovic justify his ranking as third seed and progress to the final four?
On the previous two occasions that these players have met Djokovic has emerged victorious, however these players have never met on clay before now. Melzer is having a better time on clay this season than Djokovic, who is ranked twenty-four places higher in the ATP rankings and I feel that Melzer will cause another shock and be playing in the Semi Finals. Back him to do so at odds of 11/4 with William Hill.
• Back Rafael Nadal to win 3-0 @ 4/9
• Back Jurgen Melzer to beat Novak Djokovic @ 11/4
Today’s action in the Women’s draw sees the top seed take on the seventh seed and my pre-tournament favourite take on an surprise addition to the final eight. Who will join Elena Dementieva and Francesca Schiavone in the Semi Finals?
Serena Williams v Samantha Stosur:
This match will be the fifth occasion that Williams, the top seed and world number one, and Stosur, the world number seven and seventh seed, will face each other in a competitive match. Williams leads 3-1 after their previous four matches but they have never faced each other on clay and Stosur has just eliminated the pre-tournament favourite of Justine Henin. Who will be playing the Semis?
Serena has played pretty well so far in the tournament this year and she has dropped just one set in her four matches. Stefanie Voegele was her first victim and was dispatched 7-6, 6-2 before Julia Goerges was beaten 6-1, 6-1 in round two. In round three Serena eliminated the twenty-ninth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 and followed that up with a 6-2, 6-2 thumping of eighteenth seed Shahar Peer to book her place in the last eight. Of the nine times that Serena has played at Roland Garros she has been eliminated at the Quarter Final stage four times and has only passed this point twice, will she go out at the last eight stage again?
Samantha Stosur will be highly confident of claiming another scalp in this round after defeating Justine Henin in round four to book her place against Serena. The Australian has dropped just two sets on her way to the final eight, with one being dropped against Henin and she showed a weakness against Rossana De Los Rios, ranked 102 in the WTA rankings, by dropping a set in their second round match. After beating Henin can Stosur cause another shock?
PaddyPower.com do not believe that she can and they have made Serena Williams the favourite at odds of 2/5 compared to Stosur’s odds of 7/4. Of their previous four meetings all have come on hard courts and they have never met on clay, which is not one of Serena’s favourite surfaces. As a result of this, and the confidence that she will have after her round four win, I am backing Samantha Stosur to eliminate Serena Williams.
Jelena Jankovic v Yaroslava Shvedova:
This match sees the world number four in Jankovic take on the world number thirty-six in their fourth ever meeting. PaddyPower.com have made Jankovic the favourite to progress to the final four stage at odds of 2/11 compared to 7/2 for Shvedova. Will the match go according to the odds?
Jankovic was my pre-tournament favourite to win the title and she has looked in excellent form in all four of her matches so far. She has dropped just one set, against Kaia Kanepi in round two, and eliminated Alona Bondarenko, the twenty-seventh seed, and Daniela Hantuchova, the twenty-third seed, in her last two matches. She has looked good on clay all of this year, but will there be a shock in this match?
Shvedova has also dropped just one set on her route to the last eight of the tournament and she has also eliminated two seeded players on the way. In the first round she disposed of Sara Errani 6-1, 7-5 before defeating eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 in round two. She followed that up with 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win over twenty-eighth seed Alisa Kleybanova before breezing by Jarmila Groth 6-4, 6-3 to book her place in the Quarter Finals.
These two players have met on three previous occasions, with Jankovic leading 2-1 on the scorecard. All three matches have been played on hard courts and all three matches have gone to three sets. Shvedova’s only win came at last year’s US Open, can she eliminate the world number four at another Grand Slam? I can’t see it happening but I see the match going to three sets again, so back a Jankovic 2-1 win at odds of 17/5 with William Hill.
• Back Samantha Stosur to beat Serena Williams @ 7/4