Friday, May 23, 2014

Ivanovic and Garcia to meet in first round of French Open

Talk about starting out with a bang. A couple of days ago, I wrote about the possibility that both Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Garcia could cause major problems for those who face them in the French Open draw. Well, those problems will be decreased by half after the first round, in which the two of them are drawn to play each other.

I hate it when something like this happens. It's hard enough to imagine the French Open without former champion Ivanovic, but it's also hard to imagine the event without the newly confident and very much on the rise Garcia. One of them goes, however, and I'm not going to even try to guess which one it will be. Certainly, the odds favor Ivanovic to advance, but this could get tricky.

There are some other interesting first rounds, though none as tense (for me, anyway) as the one I just described. Belinda Bencic will get a crack at Venus Williams, Monica Puig (who just defeated Madison Keys in the Strasbourg semifinals) will play 2010 finalist Sam Stosur, Madison Keys plays 2012 finalist Sara Errani, and Kimiko Date-Krumm gets Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Simona Halep doesn't get an easy start--she plays Alisa Kleybanova in the opening round. Both Halep and Errani are questionable in terms of recent injury; an abdominal issue for the Romanian and a left hip problem for the Italian. Here's hoping both are fully recovered by the time their opening matches occur.

In the meantime, tennis is being played in both Nurnberg and Strasbourg. In Nurnberg, Karolina Pliskova, who upset top seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals, won her semifinal against Elina Svitolina today. Pliskova's opponent in the final will be Eugenie Bouchard, who beat Karin Knapp today in the semifinals.

Pliskova is all over this tournament. She and partner Michaella Krajicek just upset top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, and advanced to the doubles final. Their opponents will be Raluca Olaru and Shahar Peer.

In Strasbourg, Puig defeated Keys in the semfinals, as I mentioned above, and the other semifinal was won by Silvia Soler-Espinosa. Qualifier Soler-Espinosa (a first-time finalist) defeated Christina McHale in the semifinals. The Spaniard has now played seven matches in seven days.

In the doubles final, Tatiana Bua and Daniela Seguel will play 2nd seeds Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.

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