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Old 05-26-2012, 12:30 AM   #1
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Roland Garros 2012

Like the Australian Open, I give the Majors their own thread away from the WTA 2012 thread.

from my blog: Women’s Singles Draw At Roland Garros 2012 | Fairways and Forehands



It’s time for the second Major (Slam) of the tennis year. Roland Garros (French Open) had an historic champion last year in China’s Li Na. Who will make history of their own this year? Looking at the four quarters of the draw (Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska on the left and Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova on the right), here are my thoughts.

Vika


Top left in the Victoria Azarenka quarter, she looks to have the easiest draw on paper. Unless she twists her ankle walking to the court, I don’t see a challenge for her until a possible quarterfinal against Samantha Stosur. Of course, that’s just on paper. I’m sure a player like Sabine Lisicki would love to take out the top seed.

Aga


In the Agnieszka Radwanska quarter on the bottom left, Marion Bartoli, Ana Ivanovic and Angelique Kerber are all lurking to challenge Aga. But that’s only if Aga advances. She has a potential second round match against Venus Williams if they both win their opening matches. Radwanska has her work cut out for her if she wants another shot at Vika in the semis.

Petra


I think the Petra Kvitova draw, top right, is an open quarter. That’s where the defending champion Li Na is and I think she has a good chance to make the semis. Petra hasn’t been that great so far this year. Jelena Jankovic and Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 winner and a finalist last year, are in that quarter but Li Na has been easily playing better than all of them lately. You never know with Li Na, she is prone to errors and mental lapses at times, so she could easily go out and lay an egg in a match, losing to someone she shouldn’t. However, if she can keep the errors down and not get caught up in all the extra media she will have to deal with this year as defending champion, she has the ability to make the semis.

Masha


The Maria Sharapova quarter, bottom right, is the toughest draw. The two hottest players at the moment, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, are in this quarter. In a perfect world, they would be on opposite sides of the draw, only possibly meeting in a final. With all due respect to world #1 Victoria Azarenka, Serena and Masha are not only coming in off big tournament victories, but they are also the two biggest stars in women’s tennis. You want them both in the semis at least. You don’t want one of them picking the other off in a quarter. But this section isn’t just about them. Caroline Wozniacki is lurking as well. Caroline beat Serena in Miami and took Serena to three sets in Madrid, so don’t count her out. Julia Goerges is also looming as a possible upset winner. I don’t predict who will win the whole tournament but I can tell you who I hope wins. Two words: Go Masha! By the way, if she does win she will complete the career Grand Slam.

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Old 05-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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more pics and video on my blog: Agnieszka Radwanska Completes Roland Garros Preparation With Title At 2012 Brussels Open | Fairways and Forehands

Agnieszka Radwanska


With her sights on winning the first Major of her career, world #3 Agnieszka Radwanska picked up her third title of the year, the 2012 Brussels Open. I’m not so sure Aga shouldn’t have followed the lead of other top contenders like Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams by getting some rest before Roland Garros. Her draw ended up being especially tough, with a possible second round showdown with Venus Williams and players like Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber and Marion Bartoli lurking. One of the things I think hurt Caroline Wozniacki in her quest for a Major is that she played too much, instead of peaking for the Slams. But at least Aga wasn’t really challenged in Brussels. She breezed through with one tough set in the semis against Kaia Kanepi. Simona Halep pushed Aga to 7-5 in the first set of the final but then suffered the bagel as Radwanska rolled in the second set.



Singles – Final
(1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 75 60

Aga


Simona Halep
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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Roland Garros is underway! And here are some fans at Roland Garros being asked who they think will win...though, my guess is it's more like who they want to win since I heard a lot of Li Na (or Na Li...who hasn't won a tournament since Roland Garros last year) and Maria Sharapova...and I think only one Serena Williams, who comes in on fire...of course, this was at the Babolat booth...Li Na (Na Li) is a Babolat athlete...

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Old 05-28-2012, 04:46 AM   #4
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more pics and video on my blog: Ana Ivanovic Rolls In First Round Of Roland Garros 2012; Venus Williams Stumbles Early, Turns It On Late | Fairways and Forehands

Ana Ivanovic


Former Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic opened her 2012 campaign on the terre battue with an easy 6-1 6-1 victory over qualifier Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.The former world #1 has been playing much better lately after a prolonged slump in recent years. She still is looking for a big win over a top player at a Major. Next up for Ana is Shahar Peer. Peer is a very good player capable of upsetting Ivanovic, so Ana better not get caught looking ahead in the draw.



Venus Williams


Another former world #1, Venus Williams, had a much tougher time with Argentine teenager Paula Ormaechea. Venus dropped the first set to the hard-hitting Ormaechea before storming back to win, 4-6 6-1 6-3. I was very impressed with the young Argentine. She hit a lot bigger than I expected and seemingly plays a fearless game. She just needs experience. There were times she went for winners maybe a shot or two before it was open. She needs a little more patience in rallies. For Venus, the final two sets were impressive, but she can’t afford to let herself get down if she faces world #3 Agnieszka Radwanska in her next match.

Ana Ivanovic


Angelique Kerber


Paula Ormaechea


Singles – First Round
(6) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Elena Baltacha (GBR) 64 60
(10) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (Q) Zhang Shuai (CHN) 63 64
(13) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) 61 61
(20) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Anastasiya Yakimova (BLR) 62 60
(21) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 46 62 62
(26) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 61 63
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. (Q) Eva Birnerova (CZE) 46 64 86
Venus Williams (USA) d. Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 46 61 63
Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Stéphanie Dubois (CAN) 62 62
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. (Q) Heidi El Tabakh (CAN) 75 62
Mathilde Johansson (FRA) d. Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 57 76(6) 64
Irina Falconi (USA) d. Edina Gallovits-Hall (ROU) 36 63 61
(Q) Alexa Glatch (USA) d. Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 63 57 64
(Q) Dinah Pfizenmaier (GER) d. (WC) Caroline Garcia (FRA) 36 64 63
(WC) Irena Pavlovic (FRA) d. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) 64 75
(WC) Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 63 63
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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Samantha Stosur won in her first match...here is a little pre-tourney video she did for Road to Roland Garros. I've always liked Samantha...she seems like the kind of gal you could have a pint with...maybe it's the Aussie friendliness...

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Old 05-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Speaking of the Road to Roland Garros video series...last year they asked Li Na what it would mean to tennis in China if she were to win...



...hmmm...how did that work out?

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Old 05-28-2012, 01:06 PM   #7
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Here is an interview with American Vania King after her first round victory. Vania is hoping to make the USA Olympic Team. They talk about her ranking...she mentions being ranked 90 at one time...now she is 56 and rising...the problem is Venus Williams...if Venus does well at Roland Garros, then she will go to the Olympics...however, there is a chance Venus could lose her next match if she plays Agnieszka Radwanska...also, Vania has the bigger problem...unspoken here...that everybody wants Venus to go...understandable based on their careers...but to me, Venus has not had a significant finish in over a year and has been dealing with Sjodren's Syndrome...this is not the same Venus from years ago...may the best player get the spot...not the most popular...



...by the way...Vania is a born and raised American, but if you are curious about her heritage...her parents are from Taiwan...her Chinese name is Jin Jiuci (using pinyin)...金久慈
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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more pics and video on my blog: American Women 10-0 After Second Day Of Roland Garros 2012 | Fairways and Forehands

Bethanie Mattek-Sands


Since Chris Evert won her 7th title at Roland Garros in 1986, only two Americans have won singles crowns on the terre battue; Jennifer Capriati in 2001 and Serena Williams in 2002. Monica Seles, who represented America in the 1998 final was still representing the former Yugoslavia when she won in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Mary Pierce, a winner in 2000, represented France when she won. Mary has Canadian, French and American citizenship. Serena is probably the favorite coming into Roland Garros 2012, but although she didn’t play on the first two days of the tournament the American women are giving a terrific showing. Leading the way is Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who upset 12th seed Sabine Lisicki, 6-4 6-3.



Christina McHale


Also winning on day 2 were Americans Vania King, Lauren Davis, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and Sloane Stephens. And these were not just run of the mill opening match wins. Lauren Davis upset the 30th seed, Mona Bathel. Sloane Stephens took out the streaky Ekaterina Makarova. And with all due respect to Virginie Razzano, had Serena played the first two days, the American women would be 11-0. Obviously, the road gets much tougher now for the ladies and their undefeated record will not last. But that’s not really the point. The point is that these young women are giving American tennis a shot in the arm early in the tournament. Serena has basically been carrying the weight on her shoulders lately. However, she is entering the last few years of her career. There needs to be good young players like Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens breaking through.

Sloane Stephens


Lauren Davis


Singles - First Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Alberta Brianti (ITA) 67(6) 64 62
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 61 60
(7) Li Na (CHN) d. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 62 61
(8) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 63 63
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (12) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 64 63
(15) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (WC) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 62 61
Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. (17) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 46 63
(18) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 67(3) 64 62
(19) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 16 61 75
(24) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 61 63
(27) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 63 63
(29) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. (LL) Laura Robson (GBR) 62 61
(Q) Lauren Davis (USA) d. (30) Mona Barthel (GER) 61 61
(31) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 64 64
Nina Bratchikova (RUS) d. (32) Monica Niculescu (ROU) 06 63 63
Christina McHale (USA) d. (Q) Kiki Bertens (NED) 26 64 64
Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) 64 26 61
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) 60 63
Petra Martic (CRO) d. Michaella Krajicek (NED) 62 75
Vania King (USA) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 64 62
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 62 67(6) 64
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 76(6)
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. Romina Oprandi (SUI) 64 61
Stéphanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 63 75
(Q) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Mandy Minella (LUX) 63 64
(Q) Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 61 76(8)
(LL) Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) d. Timea Babos (HUN) 61 60
(WC) Claire Feuerstein (FRA) d. Vera Dushevina (RUS) 64 61
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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That's some impressive ink Bethanie Mattek-Sands is sporting.

She's quite a character,too,isn't she ?...

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Old 05-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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BKB wrote "Venus has not had a significant finish in over a year and has been dealing with Sjodren's Syndrome"

I did not know Venus had Sjodren's Syndrome, not even knew that illness existed . Hope she is getting a successfully treatment, now that the Doctors know about it. Hope she recovers and gets back to her normal game even though she is getting up in years for a tennis player.
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