Wow. Now that’s the way to end a match emphatically. Yaroslava Shvedova trailed 2011 Roland Garros champion Li Na 3-6 2-2 when she absolutely caught fire, winning the final 10 games of the match to pull off a shocking 3-6 6-2 6-0 upset. Shvedova is a two-time Major winner in doubles with Vania King, but had her ascension derailed in 2011 with a knee injury. She has a big game, but few would have seen this kind of performance against Li, who has been playing very well in 2012. However, before her knee injury Yaroslava did reach her first quarterfinal in singles at Roland Garros 2010. On the one hand, I am very disappointed not to see Li advance. However, it is nice to see a player like Yaroslava get such a meaningful victory after the struggles she has endured.
Roland Garros 2012 is now on Maria Sharapova’s racquet. It’s her tournament to win or lose. There, I said it. With her major threats dropping like flies, her path to the championship is getting wide open. Of course, there are still a few big guns out there, notably Wimbledon 2011 champion and 2011 WTA Player of the Year Petra Kvitova, but with the form Masha has displayed coming in to Roland Garros, this is her best opportunity ever. That said, she looked for a while like she was trying to lose to Klara Zakopalova before getting things back together for a 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-2 victory, easily her hardest match of the tournament.
Singles – Fourth Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 64 67(5) 62
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 62 61
(Q) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. (7) Li Na (CHN) 36 62 60
(23) Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 61 46 60