10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Blockbuster Ladies (WTA) Stars Headline Sat. • Tennis In Paris • @Roland Garros • French Open By 10sBalls

Julia Goerges of Germany plays Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium during their women’s second round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 31 May 2018. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BLUMBERG



When the women’s draw at Roland Garros came out just over a week ago, the third round was highlighted as potentially overflowing with intriguing battles for spots in the French Open second week and the round of 32 matchups delivered. With the sport’s biggest stars like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova back in Paris and a plethora of talented contenders vying for the second Grand Slam crown of the year, day seven has a blockbuster feel to it in the City of Light.


Here’s the four can’t miss third round battles on day seven at Roland Garros:


Maria Sharapova vs. Karolina Pliskova

No potential third round match was highlighted and hoped for quite like the big-hitting battle between Sharapova and Pliskova and the two powerful players delivered to set up the round of 32 match. Both Sharapova and Pliskova are yet to reach their peak levels in Paris, as the two-time champion took a major mid-match detour but eventually got the win in the opening round against Richel Hogenkamp before dispatching Donna Vekic in round two, while sixth-seeded Pliskova battled past 2015 finalist Lucie Safarova in her previous match.


Sharapova and Pliskova both play powerful, flat games, not natural games for the dirt, however both have enjoyed success on the clay in the past. The Russian won titles at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014 and saw resurgent form in runs to the Madrid quarterfinals and Rome semis, while Pliskova took the title in Stuttgart this season. The big-serving Czech may have enjoyed more success in the last 12 months, but Sharapova’s experience and tenacity should come through this Parisian test.

Prediction: Sharapova in three sets


Serena Williams vs. Julia Goerges

The biggest question mark, and the biggest storyline, in this year’s French Open draw came from 23-time major winner and new mother Serena Williams, and the American legend has exceeded expectations in Paris, impressing in the final two sets of her three-set battle with Ashleigh Barty in round two, her form getting better each set she plays. While Williams had been pregnant and on maternity leave, big-hitting German Julia Goerges had put together quite a run herself, reaching a career-high ranking this year and claiming three titles in the last 12 months. However, the majors have been a different story in Goerges’ career and opposite the 11th seed tomorrow will be a woman who thrives under only one type of tennis, the Grand Slam variety.

Prediction: Williams in straight sets


Petra Kvitova vs. Anett Kontaveit

Postponed on Friday due to a French rainstorm, Kvitova and Kontaveit will do battle on Court 1 tomorrow. While in the past it had been thought that to have success on clay, one must defend well and play a crafty, counterpunching game, that notion is certainly no longer true. In 2018, big-hitters Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, and rising Estonian star Anett Kontaveit showed power has its potency on the dirt as well, as Kvitova won back-to-back titles in Prague and Madrid while Kontaveit knocked off big name after big name en route to semifinal showings in Stuttgart and Rome.


So far in Paris, Kvitova survived a close call against unseeded Veronica Cepede Royg in the opening round, before cruising in straight sets in her following match against Lara Arruabarrena. Kontaveit too suffered a mid-match blip in her first rounder, but also booked her third round spot in straight sets. While the 22 year-old Estonian has been one of the most dangerous floaters on the dirt all season, Kvitova’s 13-match win streak, which included a hard-fought win over Kontaveit in Madrid, has seen the Czech play some nearly untouchable tennis and if she can keep up her impressive form, she’ll be into the second week.

Prediction: Kvitova in straight sets


Sloane Stephens vs. Camila Giorgi

With rain postponing this matchup to Saturday, two of the most impressive players of the first two rounds will face off tomorrow first on Court 18 as defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens will take on big-hitting Italian Camila Giorgi. Perhaps no one impressed in their opening match as much as Stephens, as the American was in near-perfect form in a straight-sets demolition of Arantxa Rus. Just like her tenth-seeded opponent, Giorgi is yet to drop a set in Paris, striking the ball very cleanly, making her a threat to any opponent. The unseeded Italian Giorgi may be one of the best ball-strikers in all of tennis, but the impressive blend of power and athleticism that is Stephens should get herself into the second week of Roland Garros for the fifth time in her career.

Prediction: Stephens in straight sets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *