Monday, June 4, 2012

Roland Garros: The Quarterfinals

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The 2012 French Open is down to the "Elite 8" on both the men's and women's side. On the men's side there aren't any surprises as everyone who was expected to be there (for the most part) are there.

For the men's quarterfinals, it'll be--
  • No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 12 Nicolas Almagro
  • No. 3 Roger Federer vs. No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro
  • No. 4 Andy Murray vs. No. 6 David Ferrer
The only Top 8 players NOT to make the final 8 are No. 7 Tomas Berdych (who lost to No. 9 del Potro) and No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic (who lost to No. 12 Almagro) in the 4th round respectively. But neither one of these could be classified as an upset by any stretch of the imagination since very few ranking points separate players 5 to 12 in the world rankings.

Players 1 to 4, however, are in a class by themselves. If Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray reach the semifinals it'll be the second year in a row they do so at Roland Garros and it'll be the third consecutive Grand Slam semifinals for the undisputed Top 4 players in the world. Overall, it'll be the fifth time they all reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam event SIMULTANEOUSLY, which is quite an achievement.

The women's side is a different story.

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For the women's quarterfinals, it'll be--
  • No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 23 Kaia Kanepi
  • No. 4 Petra Kvitova vs. Yaroslava Shvedova (Q)
  • No. 6 Samantha Stosur vs. No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova
  • No. 10 Angelique Kerber vs. No. 21 Sara Errani
No. 15 Cibulkova ousted World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the 4th round. Unseeded qualifier Shvedova ousted the defending champion and 7th-seeded Li Na also in the 4th round. World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 5 Serena Williams and No. 8 Marion Bartoli lost in the third round, first round and second round, respectively. So the women's quarterfinals has players from all over the spectrum and with the exception of Sharapova, Kvitova and Stosur, not our usual household names.

But as is usually the case, all eyes are on World No. 2 Maria Sharapova as she looks to complete the career Grand Slam with a win at Roland Garros. She has twice (2007, 2011) reached the semifinals but never beyond that. If, however, she reaches her first French final, she will mathematically take over the World No. 1 ranking from Azarenka, win or lose. So there's a lot at stake for Sharapova-- her first French Open title, the career Grand Slam and the World No. 1 ranking are all only 3 match wins away....

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....ONLY 3 MATCH WINS FROM HISTORY!

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