The Round of 32 is now in the books. Here’s the summary of what occurred on the courts at Roland Garros including upset losses for Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
French Open Day 7 Recap
Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka Losses Mean Four out of five of the tops seeds are now out
The banner headline in Paris is “Naomi Osaka out in straight sets loss”. Though, it should really come as no surprise. The World #1 has faltered throughout this tournament and was lucky to get past Victoria Azarenka. It wasn’t so much an Osaka win as it was an Azarenka give-away. And Katerina Siniakova didn’t make those some mistakes. No game point double faults to give Naomi Osaka a lead. The Czech claimed the first set and never let up. What should have been a nervous outing seemed anything but for the world #42. The doubles world #1 is a savvy player who finally showcased her singles capabilities. So, Osaka will need to put in some serious work if she hopes to excel on the grass. And, perhaps we won’t see a resurgence from the Japanese superstar until the North American hard court swing. We will however see more of the young Czech when she meets American Madison Keys in the Round of 16.
Even the support of the boisterous French crowd couldn’t turn the tide for Serena Williams. Unseeded American Sofia Kenin knocked out the 10th seed in straight sets. The biggest weapon in all of women’s tennis let Serena down today. The deuce wide money serve worked more often than not but Kenin was able to negate the kick serve to the ad court. Kenin turned in a tactical performance taking full advantage of Williams’ poor footwork with a combination powerful, penetrating groundstrokes and deft drop shots. Williams will need more court time if she hopes to earn another Slam title at Wimbledon.
The #14 seed, Madison Keys, was able to claim the match from Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova. Just days ago, Blinkova upset the 24th seed, Caroline Garcia after dropping the first set 1-6. Blinkova saved a match point to take the second set tiebreak. Trailing 1-4 in the final set, Blinkova rifled off three games to come even. Using that strong serve and powerful forehand, the American was able to take the decider 6-4. Keys will square off against Osaka’s slayer Katerina Siniakova for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Defending champion Simona Halep spent less than an hour on court in her ousting of 27th seed Lesia Tsurenko. The #3 seed’s return of serve proved the biggest weapon claiming eight breaks of serve while giving up only three. Halep moves on to the Round of 16, her consecutive French Open title hopes alive.
Ashleigh Barty, the #8 seed enjoyed another routine day at the office. Dropping just four games against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, the Aussie is moving on to the Round of 16. Clay may not be Barty’s favorite surface, but she plays like it is. A successful weapon on the dirt, the Barty backhand slice continues to thwart her opponents.
Aliona Bolsova Zadoinova, the Spanish qualifier, is now into the Round of 16. She adds Ekaterina Alexandrova to her list of conquests. Surely the Russian’s eight double faults aided the Spaniard’s success, but Bolsova Zadoinova has made her presence known in France.
Tears of joy streamed the face of Poland’s Iga Swiatek after chalking up the win against former Gold Medal Olympian Monica Puig. Swiatek lost the first set 0-6 and it looked like the Puerto Rican would bring in an easy win. Solid shot selection led the 18-year-old to claim the second set. After taking the early break, Puig had opportunities to reclaim it. Yet, heavy errors and the Swiatek fight ended Puig’s French Open bid.
American teenager Amanda Anisimova moves on the Round of 16 after defeating Romania’s Irina-Camela. Reminiscent of her Australian Open run, Anisimova now finds herself in the year’s second slam Round of 16. Considered a dark horse for this title, the teen phenom will meet Bolsova Zadoinova next. It should be encouraging for the American to square off against a qualifier and should aid her changes of a quarterfinal bid.
A Look at Day 8
Round of 16 play begins tomorrow with five seeds hoping to break the curse. Only one top five seed remains. On Suzanne-Lenglen, Marketa Vondrousova will take on 12th seed Anastasija Sevsatova followed by seed 23 Donna Vekic taking on #26 and Britain’s #1, Johanna Konta. In action on Philippe-Chatrier, Estonian Kaia Kanepi will square off against the red hot Petra Martic, the #31 seed, followed by #7 Sloane Stephens versus the 19th seed, Garbine Muguruza. Four great matches that will keep you on the edge of your seat.