Monday, 30 May 2016

Shelby Rogers rocking Paris

Rain prevented two matches from being completed on Day 8 of Roland Garros 2016.  However, in the six singles matches that were decided, two players managed to take their places in quarter finals to the great surprise of everyone except maybe their most loyal followers.

Milos Raonic had been cruising through all his three matches, without dropping a set, or even being threatened at any point.  However his ship ran aground and was destroyed thanks to Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.  The score was 6-2 6-4 6-4 and Stan Wawrinka would have been shocked to discover that his quarter final opponent was not going to be Raonic after all.  Still, Ramos-Vinolas won't be taken lightly, no matter how well the defending champion played during his victory over Serbia's Viktor Troicki in four sets.

Shelby Rogers, the American ranked outside the top 100, and responsible for the defeats of Czech seeds Kvitova and Pliskova, claimed another big win to advance to the quarter finals.  The victim this time was 25th Romanian seed Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets.
Next up for Rogers is fourth seed Garbine Muguruza, whose.immaculate serving exhibition gave Svetlana Kuznetsova no chance.  This is the third year in succession that the Spanish player has made it this far in the RG draw, and her hopes of advancing much further are very real.  Only Serena has displayed any better form this tournament.

Andy Murray is looking increasingly dangerous, as evidenced by his dismantling of big serving American John Isner without concession of a set.  However it won't be Kei Nishikori that the second seed needs to overcome in order to reach the semi finals.
The Japanese fifth seed was outclassed by the last French player left in either mens or women's singles, Richard Gasquet.  The ninth seed had never ventured past the fourth round in over a decade of attempts, so this was a special win.  His tennis has been impeccable, as this and the Kyrgios thrashing prove.  Murray deserves to start favourite but Gasquet has a fair chance of causing an upset.

Simona Halep leads Sam Stosur 5-3 when that match resumes, and she appears to have a couple of extra weapons which will probably prevent the Australian from prevailing.

Aga Radwanska is ahead 6-2 3-0 in her fourth round match with Tsvetana Pironkova and there is only one way that will finish.  Aga will be waiting for the winner of Halep v Stosur.

On Day 9, providing the rain stays mainly on the plain in Spain, and leaves Paris alone, we will be privileged to see Djokovic v Bautista Agut, Ferrer v Berdych, Serena v Svitolina, and Venus v Bacsinsky, and other fun matches to complete the round of sixteen and set the scene for quarter final frenzy.

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