Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Halep and Petkovic take care of business in straight sets at the French Open

4th seed Simona Halep, who has now lost only 22 games at Roland Garros this year and has yet to drop a set, advanced to the semifinals today with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Svetlana Kuznetsova. The 2009 champion was hampered by a chronic thigh injury, and she had the injury tended to and her thigh wrapped during the match. While Kuznetsova was getting treatment, Halep shadow-swung, did some moderate jumping and performed some stretches.

The Russian player is nothing if not physically tough, had to deal not only with thigh pain, but with drizzly, windy conditions. And with her Romanian opponent. Halep had some lapses during the match, but she recovered from them quickly, without appearing to be bothered by them. She played with more precision than she did against Sloane Stephens, and she served better. At one point, toward the end, she scrambled to far ad side of the net to deftly flick over an angled volley in a move that was pure Radwanska, and which thrilled the crowd. The usually calm Halep even looked excited about what she had done.

Also taking advantage of the terrible conditions was Andrea Petkovic, who cruised through her quarterfinal against 2012 champion Sara Errani. The conditions made it harder for Errani to do just about everything she does well, and it took only just a little over an hour for Petkovic to upset the 10th seed. It was a very solid performance by the German player, who emphasized her comeback from multiple injuries when she won the Family Circle Cup in April.

Neither Halep nor Petkovic has ever before been to the semifinals of the French Open. 

Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro did together in doubles what they couldn't do individually in singles--advance to the semifinals. The Spanish team upset 4th seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.

The mixed doubles final is set: Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Jean-Julien Rojer will play Julia Goerges and Nenad Zimonjic. Groenefeld and Rojer upset 3rd seeds Yaroslava Shvedova and Bruno Soares.

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