In 8 installments, I will be giving my take on how the first round matches are going to go. Here is part one:
Henin-Hardenne v. Testud
Henin-Hardenne is coming off a bout with a virus and has no practice on the red clay, all of this has been fairly well documented. Sandrine Testud is coming back from a bout of child bearing and is 3-6 this year, and 0-3 on clay. Head to heads are irrelevant since they haven’t met since 2001 and they are both very different players. Testud has struggled in her comeback and will not be enough to penetrate the #1 seed’s solid game on clay. Henin-Hardenne in 2.
Garbin v. Martinez Granados
Tathiana Garbin has been up and down this year, and she is on a down streak right now as she just got destroyed by Roberta Vinci in the first round of Rome qualifications. However, she has a stellar career record on clay and has gotten past the first round of RG for the last four years. Martinez-Granados has seen her ranking fall to 118 in the past week, however, she just had a well fought match against surging Stephanie Cohen-Aloro in Berlin and also feels the most comfortable on clay. This should be a tough match between two clay courters on their native surface and……Martinez Granados in 3.
Randriantefy v. Zheng
Dally Randriantefy is just coming off an excellent showing in Rome, and an equally impressive performance in Charleston in April. Her stock has not been this high since last year’s third round RG showing. Jie Zheng had an excellent beginning to the year but has cooled off as of late. She made it to the Quarterfinals of Hyderabad and Doha, but lately has losses to Panova, Vinci, Beltrame, and Mikaelian. Randriantefy is too hot lately and should take out slumping Zheng……Randriantefy in 2 tight sets.
Kleinova v. Loit
Kleinova has had an atrocious year. She is 4-16 and her last win was in early April over Meilen Tu, who she recently lost to in Berlin 61 60. Lefty Loit has been very strong, just making it to the SF of Strasbourg. She will thrive on her native clay and it won’t even be close. Loit in 2.
Dokic v. Perebiynis
Jelena Dokic is in a bad state mentally. And her struggles this year have reached a new point. Perebiynis has been solid this year with some nice wins (Sucha, Stosur, Talaja) and if she plays a solid match she could win this. If Jelena is her old self, there’s no way she loses this match, but she is not and it is tragic. Perebiynis in 3.
Harkleroad v. Diaz-Oliva
Harkleroad is a problem. She lost her only match on clay this year and has been slumping dreadfully. She is 5-7 this year and has seen her ranking plummet to 73. Diaz-Oliva has not done much this year, but she has been winning some matches and is a more experienced player than Harkleroad. Look for Diaz-Oliva in 2.
Obata v. Douchevina
Obata showed potential at the end of last year, and it seemed as though she would continue when she upset Sugiyama at the Australian. However, she has leveled off. She just lost to Ivanovic 60 60, and while Ivanovic will be something special, Saori should have won a game. Douchevina is having a strong year, and all of her losses have come against players that are doing well. Her ranking has gone up over 170 places in the past year. Look for her to make a splash in her first Roland Garros. Douchevina in 2 (maybe 3).
Sequera v. Suarez
Sequera’s only wins this year have come against Yvette Hyndman and Martina Navratilova. Need I say more? I will anyway. Suarez has been proving this year that she belongs in the 15 spot and she is a singles force to be dealt with. She should have no trouble with Malfunctioning Milagros. Suarez in 2.
May 21st, 2004, 05:14 PM
So far I agree 100% :)
May 21st, 2004, 05:55 PM
Zvonareva v. Kucova
Vera Zvonareva has been playing strong tennis lately in that she got to the SF of Rome. She is comfortable on clay and beat Venus here last year, and she is at .667 on clay this year. Kucova is a qualifier, in her first major main draw, and while she may have potential in the future on clay, her best surface, she isn’t ready yet and shouldn’t do much against Zvonareva. Zvonareva in 2.
Serna v. Morigami
A tough one. This week, Morigami went three sets against Bacsinzsky, and then lost in three sets to Sugiyama. Serna made it to the QF of Vienna, but lost to ASP 61 60. Serna gets points for her great history on clay and at RG, while Morigami has seemed more comfortable on hardcourts. All this taken into account…Serna’s experience will pull her through. Serna in 3.
Grande v. Nagyova
Grande had a good run in Casablanca to the SF, but that is entirely negated by the fact that, in Berlin, she lsot to Syna Schreiber 60 60. Nagyova has not been very impressive this year. Nagyova just qualified for Strasbourg while Grande took the week off. Surprisingly enough, Negyova might actually pull out a first round match. Nagyova in 3.
Schwartz v. Sharapova
Barbara Schwartz is trying to make her comeback to tennis, but she may be too far past her prime to stage a real comeback. She hasn’t been in a major sice the Australian Open 2003, and this will hurt her. Sharapova has been rising and rising since her emergence on the WTA scene. All of her losses have been quality losses and she should have no trouble with Schwartz if she does her homework (we remember one Venus who has been surprised by her before). Sharapova in 2.
Daniilidou v. Weingartner
Daniilidou;s most recent losses have come against the likes of Venus and Amelie, she is sparatic and inconsistent, but generally will make it past the first round if she isn’t at the US Open. Weingartner reemerged this week with a QF in Vienna, but otherwise it has been a rough year, and she won’t be enough to threaten Daniilidou. Daniilidou in 2.
Frazier v. Camerin
Frazier just had a great week, going to the semifinals in Vienna. She has had a very Amy Frazier type year. She is not beating the big players, but she is being consistent with her level of play. Camerin just had a win over Dokic, but that doesn’t mean much right now. Her ranking has been rising and next year at this time, I may be picking this differently, but right now…..Frazier in 2.
Fedak v. Santangelo
Fedak is one of the stronger players who has gotten through the qualifying draw, and she had good wins over Callens and an ailing Jankovic in Rome qualifying. The fact that she is warmed up from the qualifying should also help her. Mara Santangelo made noise with a great showing at the Australian this year, but recently she has not played exceptional tennis. I may be wrong on this one but I give this match to Fedak in 3.
Castano v. Petrova
Petrova was on a roll. She had beaten Serena; she made it to 6th in the world, and then out of the blue, she lost to Pennetta and it threw her whole French Open in doubt. She has the pressure on her, defending SF points, and it could be interesting. Castano has a win over Daniilidou, but hasn’t proven she can beat the big players. Petrova should come through this match to increase her confidence, and an early exit (at least this early) seems unlikely. Petrova in 2.
May 22nd, 2004, 12:46 AM
I think Morigami is going to take out Serna though...
May 22nd, 2004, 04:16 AM
* Castano could win over Petrova (in 3 sets)
* Morigami has equal chance with Serna, (Morigami in 3 sets)
* Zheng could also win over Randriantefy (in 3 sets)
* Dokic has chance to win (Dokic in 2)
May 22nd, 2004, 06:57 PM
May 22nd, 2004, 07:05 PM
Third and Fourth Installments to come in a few hours.
May 22nd, 2004, 08:16 PM
Good stuff, I agree with the most. Just a note, Jankovic retired against Fedak. ;)
May 22nd, 2004, 08:34 PM
whoo, that's a long one, usually I dont do analysis until the round of 16. Doing this for 64 matches, and 32 for the next round, then 16 for 3rd round, that's a lot of time. But good analysis so far:)
May 22nd, 2004, 08:51 PM
Mauresmo v. Cervanova
Mauresmo is the hottest player coming into the French. She won Rome and Berlin, including 10 consecutive matches, her record on clay is impeccable. Cervanova has been pretty successful, and she has a nice record on clay, but she has nothing to rival Mauresmo. Mauresmo in 2.
Craybas v. Medina Garrigues
On any other surface this would be Craybas’ match to win, however this is clay. Craybas has never had success on clay (a career pct. of .415 and a RG record of 1-4). Medina Garrigues recently beat Craybas at Amelia Island, but she has never had great success at RG either, but she just went three sets to Farina Elia and has been more consistent on clay. Medina Garrigues in 3.
Vakulenko v. Parra Santonja
Vakulenko started the year well, but has leveled off. She made it to RG 3rd rund last year though, and just had a nice win over Shaughnessy, but then she was double bageled by Srebotnik which puts her consistency in doubt. Parra has had a breakout last 10 months and has a nice career clay record, but she just had some bad losses to Sucha and Chladkova, but she also just played the hot Claudine Schaul close. This match could go either way, but I think Vakulenko’s serve could frustrate Parra if it is working. Vakulenko in 3.
Kurhajcova v. Raymond.
Kurhajcova has had some nice runs at Bogota and Casablanca, but she has lost her last four matches (though they were against some strong players). Raymond has been struggling lately ever since her AO win over Venus. She has never (except 97) had great success at RG and I have no idea how either of these players will come out and play but…Raymond in 3.
Maleeva v. Barna
Maleeva just lost to Randriantefy and Pistolesi, but she did some damage at the French last year and has never had any real aversion to clay. And generally is able to make her seed at a major. Barna is stuggling. She is 8-13 this year and has never had success at RG. Maleeva should go through fairly nicely into round 2. Maleeva in 2.
Wheeler v. Marrero
The only reason Wheeler is here is her Australian reciprocal WC. Wheeler has recent losses to Bielik and Van Exel and has no business in the main draw here. Marrero is a clay machine and is hot lately. She has made it to QF here before and look for an exciting 3rd round meeting with Farina Elia. Marrero in 2.
Reeves v. Shaughnessy
Reeves had an atrocious beginning to the season, but had a nice result in Rome. For an American, she plays fair clay court tennis, and could do some damage depending on which Reeves shows up. Shaughnessy just had a disappointing loss to Vakulenko, but also just beat Kostanic who is a strong floater. Shaughnessy can have moments of brilliance if she wants to, but this is another one of my upset specials. Reeves in 3.
Jankovic v. Farina Elia
Jankovic just won Budapest, but then pulled out of Rome quallies against Fedak. This is her first RG main draw and she may not have enough to penetrate Farina Elia. Silvia is a great career top 20 player. She is consistently in the QF and SF of tournaments and never fails to go to at least the middle weekend of RG. This should be no different. Farina Elia in 2.
May 22nd, 2004, 08:56 PM
where can I find scheldue for tomorrow ??
May 22nd, 2004, 09:05 PM
I think Parra will win in 3!
May 22nd, 2004, 09:51 PM
OMG I've just realized it's saturday today :smash:
May 22nd, 2004, 10:05 PM
Dementieva v. Jugic-Salkic
Dementieva is a big question mark lately with her serve seeming to become more and more penetrable. She can do well on clay, but doesn’t most of the time, and she just haad a bad loss to Sharapova in Rome. Jugic-Salkic is a matter of potential that she has not yet lived up to. She just lost to Golovin and Leon Garcia, but clay is her best surface. She is in her first major main draw and Dementieva should survive this match, but not much farther. Dementieva in 2.
Pratt v. Pisnik
Pratt won her first career tournament this year, but has struggled since we got on to the red clay of Europe; she has a loss to Anca Barna and a career rcoerd under .500 on clay. Pisnik has also been the victim of a poor clay courts season, but she has been more successful on clay in the past, and was close to being seeded here. Both of these players have a chance to win this match. This pains me to do so, but I go….Pisnik in 3.
Koukalova v. Golovin
Koukalova is very average. She has some good quality wins, but nothing really spectacular. She has a fairly successful record on clay but nothing overwhelming. She is going up against Golovin who is ridiculously young and has some great wins. Golovin has the advantage in ability, but this is her GS where she is supposed to shine this year and pressure may be an issue. However, Golovin will overcome this, at least for the first round and come through….Golovin in 2.
Pennetta v. Smashnova-Pistolesi
Flavia Pennetta was in great shape recently with a very nice win over Petrova (but then she lost to ASP); she eats clay for breakfast and could have done well with a better draw, but then she pulled out of Rome qualifying which sheds doubts on her ability here. Smashnova is flying high, coming off a tournament victory where she played arguably her best tennis since early 2002, she should carry this momentum right on through the first week of the French. Smashnova-Pistolesi in 2.
Safina v. Schruff
Safina is on the verge of great success. She is seeded in this GS, which is progress and she has been close to really breaking through many times. She has a great career record on clay and with the state of women’s tennis right now, a power game will automatically win you a few rounds. Schruff is a qualifier who always beats the players she is better than but never pulls upsets. Safina in 2.
Snyder v. Irvin
Tara Snyder is an interesting notion. She has been on tour for a long time, and she had minor success in the late 90’s but has since slipped. She is making a kind of a comeback, but she isn’t a clay court player. Marissa Irvin, what a long strange trip it has been. However, she is back, she has qualified, and she can play on clay. Irvin in 2.
Sanchez Lorenzo v. Mamic
Sanchez Lorenzo lives for clay and has had her best success here at RG. She just played Serena close at Rome and was also almost seeded here. Mamic is going to be very special very soon. She is climbing up the rankings fast and qualified here but I think she may be a tad inexperienced right now. Next year, she wins his match, but for now…Sanchez Lorenzo in 3.
Pichet v. Davenport
Pichet is a WC who will do nothing. She isn’t even close to being in Davenport’s league. Davenport may not love clay, but she can still win on it. Pichet is dangerous at 25 and 50K’s but not here. Davenport is too good, and it won’t even be a match. Davenport in 2.
May 23rd, 2004, 12:09 AM
Shaughnessy will beat Reeves
May 23rd, 2004, 01:05 AM
* Kurhajcova would beat Raymond (Kurhajcova in 2)
* Shaughnessy would survive Reeves game (Shaughnessy in 3 sets)
* Jugic-Salkic would slightly win over Dementieva (Jugic-Salkic in a very tight 3 sets)
* Mamic wouldn't be surprise IF she beat Sanchez Lorenzo
May 23rd, 2004, 02:40 AM
Poor sandrine..she just can't seem to get a break in the draw :mad: :eek: