Being completely honest, since the end of 2014 there hasn’t been much to write home about for Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic. One bright spot was last year at Roland Garros, a tournament she won in 2008, when she reached the semifinals. Maybe some of the magic of past years in Paris will help Ana use Roland Garros 2016 to jumpstart a return to form. She moves into the 3rd round with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Japan’s Kurumi Nara. It only gets tougher now as she faces 16th seed Elina Svitolina. Even if she gets by Elina, she would face the winner of Serena Williams vs Kristina Mladenovic. That seems likely to be Serena, but I’ll give Kiki a small chance for the upset playing in front of her French homeland fans. Either way, it won’t be easy for Ana to successfully defend her semifinal points from last year.
While Ana Ivanovic fell to Lucie Safarova in last year’s Roland Garros semifinals, Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky had Serena Williams down a set before similarly losing in the semis. Timea punched her ticket to the 3rd round of Roland Garros 2016 by ousting the comebacking Eugenie Bouchard, 6-4 6-4. The 8th seeded Bacsinszky has a good chance to reach the quarters, even with Venus Williams lurking in the 4th round. Timea won on clay in Morocco at the end of April. Granted, she didn’t face a player in the top 40 at that event but with her recent seasons of resurgence it’s more important that she took the title and built momentum and confidence.
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14 ANA IVANOVIC d. Kurumi Nara, 7-5 6-1
8 TIMEA BACSINSZKY d. Eugenie Bouchard, 6-4 6-4