Saturday, October 3, 2020


The third round of the French Open saw the exit of a number of seeded players, plus the exit of two of my quirkier favorites, Tsvetana Pironkova and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. 

Todaym, 30th seed Ons Jabeur, a shot-maker of considerable estimation, defeated 8th seed Aryna Sabalenka. Jabeur, the junior champion in 2011, is the first Arab woman to reach the round of 16 of a major. Joining Jabeur in pulling an upset was Laura Siegemund, who defeated 13th seed Petra Martic. And while neither of them was seeded, it was notable that Paula Badosa defeated 2017 champion (and resurgent) Alona Ostapenko.

But--as long as we're speaking of resurgent players--the big news was that 11th seed and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza was upset by Danielle Collins in a two-and-a-half-hour match that looked---until almost the end--like it was Muguruza's match. That match began on Court Suzanne Lenglen but was later moved to Court Philippe Chatrier, under the roof. 

Down two breaks in the third set, Collins fought back against a suddenly error-prone Muguruza. And then she fought back some more. The Spanish star had begun each set with a break, and she looked like the old/new Muguruza until she was almost at the point of victory. Collins saw an opening and took it, defeating Muguruza 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

"I felt she couldn't have been serving any better in that second set and in the beginning of the third set, and I needed to do something different," Collins said after the match. "So I needed to put some more pressure on her. That's exactly what I did the rest of the way through."

This is Collins' first time to reach the second week of the French Open.

Earlier in the day on Philippe Chatrier, Fiona Ferro and Patricia Maria Tig played their hearts out, though you might not perceive it from the final score, a 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-0 victory for the Frenchwoman. It was a spirited affair, and--though there were only a thousand of you--now you know, French crowd, what it feels like to be booed and heckled. Job done.

7th seed Petra Kvitova defeated Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 6-3, and reached the second week of the French Open for the first time in five years. Fernandez, for her part, continues to impress with her athleticism and court poise.

Also, Zhang Shuai (remember when she almost retired from pro tennis?) defeated France's Clara Burel 7-6 (2), 7-5. And quietly and efficiently, 4th seed Sofia Kenin defeated Irina Bara 6-2, 6-0.

Yesterday, both 13th seed Elise Mertens and 20th seed Maria Sakkari were upset, by Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia and Martina Trevisan, respectively.

Things went more to form in doubles, as top seeds Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic won their 2nd round match, as did 2nd seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova and 3rd seeds Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka (which had to be a relief, since both of them were upset in singles play). Also winning were 4th seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova.

Here is the round of 16 singles draw:

Simona Halep (1) vs. Iga Swiatek*
Martina Trevisan vs. Kiki Bertens (5)
Elina Svitolina (3) vs. Carolina Garcia
Nadia Podoroska vs. Barbora Krejcikova
Ons Jabeur (30) vs. Danielle Collins
Fiona Ferro vs. Sofia Kenin (4)
Petra Kvitova (7) vs. Zhang Shuai
Laura Siegemund vs. Paula Badosa

*They met in the round of 16 last year, and Swiatek won only one game.

No comments: