Friday, 19 May 2017

Rome quarter finals set

EThe quarter finals in Rome have been decided and there are some exciting matches in prospect.
Rafa Nadal will play Dominic Thiem, and the Austrian must be feeling the gods are against him. After losing finals to the clay king in Barcelona and Madrid, Thiem now runs into the Spaniard again.
Thiem had to fight hard to make the last eight, losing the opening set to Sam Querrey, and then surviving a final set tie breaker.  Serve dominated the match, with only two breaks, one apiece.
Nadal eliminated another American, Jack Sock, in straight sets.

The highest seed left is Novak Djokovic and he will have to deal with Juan Martin del Potro.  The ever dangerous unseeded Argentine said farewell to 7th seed Kei Nishikori and will no doubt give Novak some trouble if the forehand continues to fire.
Djokovic is starting to find comfort on the clay, sending warnings to those who have written him off for Roland Garros.  Roberto Bautista Agut was unable to compete with Djokovic beyond the opening set which was tight for the best part.  

Zverev and Raonic will feature in a big serving contest and the remaining quarter final is a battle between Marin Cilic and John Isner, who shocked the 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.

Venus Williams is in hot form and blew Johanna Konta off the court in the opening set of their third round match.  Konta fought back to level the encounter but Venus was far too strong in the decider, winning it 6-1, as she did the first set.
Conversion of break points was critical in the match, Johanna 1 from 8 and Venus 4 from 6.
Another tough opponent in the quarters for Venus is Garbine Muguruza who has finally found some form after a month or so in the doldrums.  A win over Julia Goerges in a highly entertaining match, suggested Garbine may be ready for a decent defence of her Roland Garros title.   

Dasha Gavrilova, having won through qualifying and beaten two seeds, will need to beat 15th seed Kiki Bertens in another quarter final, Bertens the victor over Makarova in three sets.

Simona Halep, favourite for the French Open, faces qualifier Anett Kontaveit in the final eight, following victories over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni respectively.
The final quarter final is the highlight - two multiple title winners from this year - 2nd seed Karolina Pliskova against 8th seed Elina Svitolina.
Svitolina lost the opening set to Mona Barthel but then won twelve games in succession to claim victory.
Pliskova eliminated Timea Bacsinszky in two sets.

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