After a few days of big names being bounced from Roland Garros 2014, things settled down a bit on day 5. With Li Na out of her half of the draw, some are looking at Ana Ivanovic as a potential champion. Although she is ranked outside of the top 10 at #12 and is the #11 seed here (because Victoria Azarenka is out due to injury), Ana has had a very good year, reaching three finals and winning two. She also won Roland Garros in 2008. All that said, if she wins the title this year, she’s really going to have to earn it. She defeated up and coming 19 year old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-5 6-2 on day 5. It only gets tougher now. She gets #23 seed Lucie Safarova next. Safarova holds a 4-2 head to head advantage over Ivanovic, including the last 4 matches in a row. However, those were all on hard courts and during a time when Ana was struggling overall. The only time they’ve played on clay was 2008 when Ana won Roland Garros. If Ana wins this match with Safarova, she will face the winner of #5 Petra Kvitova vs #27 Svetlana Kuznetsova, both Major winners. Lurking past that match could be #4 Simona Halep or #15 Sloane Stephens. But first, she has to get past Safarova…if she can.
I am a Simona Halep fan, but even though I was happy to see her win her second round match, I was a little bummed for Heather Watson. Heather is such a positive and energetic player. She just didn’t have enough to deal with Simona on this day as Halep took her out 2 and 4. Simona is one of the players spoken of as a possible threat to win her first Major with the top two seeds gone. I don’t know if she’s ready for that. But I do think she is a potential future #1. Maybe this is where she starts that ascension.
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4 SIMONA HALEP (won 6-2 6-4 vs Heather Watson)
5 PETRA KVITOVA (won 6-4 6-4 vs Marina Erakovic)
6 JELENA JANKOVIC (won 7-5 6-0 vs Kurumi Nara)
10 SARA ERRANI (won 6-2 6-4 vs Dinah Pfizenmaier)
11 ANA IVANOVIC (won 7-5 6-2 vs Elina Svitolina)
15 SLOANE STEPHENS (won 6-1 6-3 vs Polona Hercog)