Maria Sharapova took another step toward completing the career Grand Slam, defeating Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Jan 6-2 6-3 to advance to the fourth round at Roland Garros 2011. But the path to the title will prove a difficult one as the bottom half of the women’s singles draw is full of legitimate title contenders. All four bottom half match-ups feature players who have been playing well 2011.
Masha leads her H2H against Agnieszka Radwanska 6 to 1, but has been pushed to three sets in two of the last three matchups. Still, it is Masha’s match to win or lose. If she serves well and is patient when she needs to be, look for the three time Major champion to advance.
A very intriguing match. On paper, Vika should not have any problems with Makarova. But Makarova is one of those players who can look ordinary 85% of the time and Top 5 15% of the time. The question is, which one will show up. If the 85% Makarova shows up, then no problem for Vika. If the 15% Makarova shows up, there could be an upset. Vika has recently won Marbella on clay and reached the Madrid final on clay. But she also has retired twice recently in matches with injury, including against Masha in Rome after winning the first set.
The player who beat Vika in the Madrid final, and whom nobody wants to play, is Petra Kvitova. She has really come into her own, not only winning in Madrid, but also beating Kim Clijsters earlier this year in Paris at the Open GDF Suez. Li Na will have her hands full trying to stop Kvitova. Petra beat Li Na in convincing fashion in Madrid. For this match to go in Li’s favor, she will have to cut down on her errors and hope Petra comes in a little off her game, which she does occassionally.
People have been talking more about Andrea’s dancing and personality, but make no mistake about her chances to win this title. She isn’t afraid of anybody, having beaten both Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova this year, although Masha exacted revenge a few months later beating Andrea and retiring the Petko Dance. If Andrea and Masha get by their round 4 opponents, we will have another chance to see them battle it out. Andrea’s win over Masha came at the last Major, the Australian Open. I’m sure Masha, who doesn’t seem amused by Andrea’s dancing after matches, would like the chance to knock Andrea out of Roland Garros.
Singles – Third Round
(4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (30) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 63 62
(6) Li Na (CHN) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 62 62
(7) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (Q) Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) 62 63
(9) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Vania King (USA) 64 62
(12) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (21) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 64
(15) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (24) Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 62 46 63
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (16) Kaia Kanepi (EST) 64 75
(25) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 61 61