Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Debut womens champ assured

Quarter finals time at Roland Garros and of the eight men left in the draw five have won at least one Grand Slam title. Of the other three one has been a finalist and one a semi finalist (here last year) So odds are no new winner of the men's singles crown, especially given Nadal's hot form.

However, there will be a first time Grand Slam title for whoever takes home the chocolates in the women's final.  Garbine Muguruza did it last year and any of the eight remaining have the chance to do it this year.

Caroline Wozniacki has been runner up twice in the US Open, but only been to the quarters here once before and never beyond.
Her opponent Jelena Ostapenko has never been this far in a Grand Slam event, in fact last year lost her opening match in all 4.

Elina Svitolina has her best GS record on the clay at Roland Garros, having made the quarter final here two years ago.
She will face the bookies favourite of the remaining players, Simona Halep, who was a beaten finalist here in 2014, losing to Maria Sharapova. 

Karolina Pliskova, the highest remaining seed (2), struggled in her fourth round match against 97th ranked Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg.  Veronica had never previously made it through to a Grand Slam main draw so taking Pliskova to three sets in the round of sixteen was a great achievement.

Pliskova managed to reach the quarters here - her GS history was rather ordinary until she made the US Open final last year and followed up with a quarter final appearance in this year's Aus Open.  Her serve is a major weapon but also can be her downfall.
Karolina next has to deal with French favourite Caroline Garcia.

The best prior to Roland Garros 2017 in a Grand Slam event for Garcia had been a few third round losses, and she'd never been past the second round here.

The final quarter final features in form Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky and Kiki Mladenovic, the second of the two French girls still alive in the tournament.
Former top ten player Bacsinszky was a semi finalist here in 2015 (losing to Serena Williams after leading by a set and a break) and quarter finalist last year.

For Mladenovic this is her second GS quarter final following the 2015 US Open.  However it is a breakthrough here after losing in the third round in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Not much to work with going on history, except Simona Halep has been to the final before and is in exceptional form, so it would be hard to see anyone stopping her charge to the title from here.

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