Maria Sharapova continues to look dominant through the first 3 rounds of Roland Garros 2012. After losing only 2 games total in her first two matches (6-0 6-0 and 6-1 6-1), she powered past the 28th-seeded Peng Shuai, 6-2 6-1. Granted, she hasn’t yet played an opponent who could truly challenge her if she’s on. I thought that player would be Caroline Wozniacki…but I’ll get to that in few moments. As it is, it seems we might get a semifinal rematch from last year between Masha and Li Na, which of course was won by eventual champion Li Na. The defending champion had a slight first set hiccup against the up and coming American Christina McHale before righting the ship and dismissing the rising star, 3-6 6-2 6-1. We will see more of Christina McHale (I hope). It’s not her time yet, but it will come (again, I hope).
I thought Caroline Wozniacki would be the player that, win or lose, would let us know truly how well Masha is playing right now. Alas, it will not be Caroline after all. She made a valiant comeback from 1-6 1-5 and two match points down to force a third set again Kaia Kanepi. However, in the end Kaia would not let Caro off the hook, taking down the 9th seed, 6-1 6-7 (3) 6-3. Kanepi is one of those players you just never know about. She is very streaky. She won the title in Brisbane to start the year…but also has three first round losses this year as well. For Caroline, I still believe she has the talent to win a Major, but her game and ranking are slipping quickly. She was the #1 player in the world at Roland Garros last year. Now, she’s the 9th seed. That said, I still believe in her talent and her fighting spirit.
Singles – Third Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (28) Peng Shuai (CHN) 62 61
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Nina Bratchikova (RUS) 62 46 61
(7) Li Na (CHN) d. Christina McHale (USA) 36 62 61
(23) Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. (9) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 61 67(3) 63
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (14) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 36 63 86
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. (22) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 63 75
Arantxa Rus (NED) d. (25) Julia Goerges (GER) 76(5) 26 62
(Q) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 75