Saturday, May 22, 2010

French Open--interesting early rounds

I enjoy the early rounds of a major, though it can be painful to see lower-ranked favorites or players to watch make early exits. Some of the tour's fresh talent will be on display in the first and second rounds at Roland Garros, and those who are playing tour stars are likely to have their matches televised in some form or other. (Viewers in the U.S.--ESPN 3, which used to be called ESPN 360, is showing French Open matches.)

Here are some early round matches that, for one reason or another, could be interesting:

1ST ROUND

Simona Halep vs. Sam Stosur (7) : This is your chance to see Halep play.

Dinara Safina (9) vs. Kimiko Date Krumm: Here's another chance to see Date Krumm; some think there will be additional opportunities.

Sara Errani vs. Yaroslava Shvedova: Errani is having a disappointing season, but if she brings her game, this could be a good one.

Elena Vesnina vs. Andrea Petkovic: This would be an excellent match if it weren't for all of the problems Vesnina is having with her thigh. But just in case she's healthy, give it a try.

Gisela Dulko vs. Victoria Azarenka (10): Dulko really needs a win. Will she get it here?

Patty Schnyder vs. Venus Williams (2): Worst draw luck ever. It's probably Patty's last French Open.


2ND ROUND

Of course, no one knows who's going to be in the second round, but here are some probable matches of interest:

Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Alona Bondarenko (27): Rybarikova and Bondarenko both like the clay, and could deliver a good match.

Alisa Kleybanova (28) vs. Ana Ivanovic: Kleybanova is an undisciplined big hitter who is fun to watch. Maybe not for Ivanovic, though.

Sara Errani vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (8): Assuming Errani is some kind of reasonable form, and assuming--of course--that she wins her first round--she and Radwanska could produce a match very much worth watching.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (6) vs. Andrea Petkovic: If Petkovic beats the recently-ailing Vesnina, she could be real trouble for Kuznetsova.

Elena Dementieva (5) vs. Melanie Oudin: I don't really think this match is going to be played; I think Medina Garrigues will defeat Oudin. But on the off-chance that Oudin emerges the winner, she and Dementieva would have yet another go at it.

Note: Under normal circumstances, I would have picked a possible second round contest between Katarina Srebotnik and Justine Henin as one to watch. Srebotnik, however, is still finding her way back, and will have enough problems dealing with Klara Zakopalova in the first round.

3 comments:

Jen said...

Thanks for the previews, Diane. And you are probably right about Srebotnik -- I would make her a clear underdog to Zakopalova, who in her last two clay court events beat Safina (Madrid) and Bartoli (Warsaw). Srebotnik has played seven matches only in 2010 and is 1-6. I'd love to see her do well, but the odds seem against it.

Sunny MS said...

Kleybanova knocked out Ivanovic in the 3rd rd of the 2009 AO, so it will be interesting what happens at RG. Schnyder and Venus-you never know about either, so I feel it could go either way. Azarenka hasn't been playing that well (injury?) so Dulko could have a good chance. Hasn't Dementieva beaten Oudin twice since last year's US open?-I know at least once Dementieva got her back.

Diane said...

Oudin has beaten Dementieva only once, but the other three matches were close. The Fed Cup match was bizarre, with Dementieva getting bageled in the second set.