Sunday, 27 May 2018

Roland Garros Women’s Singles predictions

The lead up tournaments to Roland Garros have been run and won

Marton Fucsovics defeated Peter Gojowczyk 6-2 6-2 to win in Geneva 

Dominic Thiem (1) defeated Gilles Simon 3-6 7-6(1) 6-1 to win in Lyon

Johanna Larsson defeated Alison Riske 7-6(4) 6-4 to win in Nurnberg 

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (3) defeated wildcard Dominika Cibulkova (5) 6-7(5) 7-6(3) 7-6(6) in a top class match lasting three hours and thirty five minutes.  Both players were hitting outright winners from the start to the end of the match.

Roland Garros begins tonight in Paris, Australian time and my predictions for the Women’s Singles are as follows:

With mothers Serena Williams and Vika Azarenka included in the draw, plus in form Maria Sharapova, the field is as good as it gets.

Serena and Vika are not seeded, and Maria is seeded 28, so all three are dangerous in the draw.  If former champions Serena and Maria win their first two matches they will play each other in the third round.

Top seed is Simona Halep, last years losing finalist.

Her first round opponent is losing Nurnberg finalist Alison Riske, and while she should account for the American, it won’t be a walk in the park.

The Halep draw, if the seeds win as expected, has her playing  Elise Mertens in the fourth round and Caroline Garcia in the quarters.

I suspect Halep will make the semis, given her prior Grand Slam tournament success, albeit no winners trophies in the cabinet just yet.

Semi Finalist:  Simona Halep

The most intriguing quarter of the draw involves 2016 champ Garbine Muguruza, the tournament third seed, and Karolina Pliskova, sixth seed.

Muguruza has had a mixed 2018, one minor trophy in South America, but not the greatest form leading into Paris.

Her first round opponent has also lifted the trophy here - Sveta Kuznetsova in 2009.

Possibly too strong for Kuznetsova, but drawn to play Strasbourg winner Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round and the unpredictable CoCo Vandeweghe in the round of sixteen.

Pliskova is the scheduled quarter final opponent, and the Czech player is confident, having won the recent Stuttgart tournament.

Pliskova may have to deal with a possible Sharapova or Serena Williams, before even considering Muguruza.

Semi finalist:  Garbine Muguruza

The bottom half of the draw has second seed Caroline Wozniacki who is aiming for her second major of the year.

Her danger may come as soon as the fourth round where she is likely to meet either Daria Kasatkina or Carla Suárez Navarro.

A quarter final would depend on victory over Sloane Stephens or Anastasija Sevastova.

The final eight opponent would likely be Petra Kvitova, and given the superb form of the dual Wimbledon champ, I would predict a Czech win

Semi finalist:  Petra Kvitova 

Defending champion is Jelena Ostapenko and her draw, as fifth seed means she could face Azarenka in round two, and Jelena has Venus Williams drawn as a round of sixteen opponent.

I believe the quarter final will feature Ostapenko against fourth seed Elina Svitolina, the recent winner in Rome.

Svitolina is primed for success in Paris and her Grand Slam performances, below expectations till now, could record a break through on the red clay.

On paper, she has a relatively soft draw, maybe a tough third round against Mihaela Buzarnescu, who just made the semi finals in Strasbourg before a possible fourth round against Madison Keys, whose preference is not this surface.

Semi Finalist:  Elina Svitolina 

I believe that Simona Halep will play Petra Kvitova in the final and will win her first Grand Slam tournament.

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