The women’s third round at the 2014 French Open completes on Saturday, with all of the top three seeds already out of the tournament.
I said yesterday that Ajla Tomljanovic “could be dangerous for Aga Radwanska,” but I didn’t see a straight sets loss for the Pole, who was certainly below par on the day.
However, it’s another record for this event, with the loss for Radwanska meaning it’s the first time in the Open Era of the game that all of the top three seeds have failed to make the fourth round of the French Open.
It was a good day for my bets also, with my best bet of the day of Sam Stosur to beat Domi Cibulkova with a minus 3.5 game handicap proving successful at odds-against.
I also said that Mona Barthel “shouldn’t be 1.33 against anyone on clay”, which proved on point as Pauline Parmentier recovered from a 1-6 start to win in three.
We start at 10:00 UK time today, which is odd scheduling for what could well be the match of the day.
Petra Kvitova vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Regular readers will know that Sveta has been responsible for two of my most painful losses of the season, having choked away huge leads in the final set and match points twice this season, but she has a good chance to make amends here.
I’m not going to back her to win this one, but the overs looks highly likely here, with Kvitova having played a couple of two setters in a row here this week and it seems most unlikely that this one will end the same way.
We all know that Petra plays far too many three set matches, but she may well have to today to get the better of an opponent who is far more of a natural on this surface than herself.
Kvitova’s 3-0 head-to-head lead over the Russian has been based on hard court matches and this time around on clay it could all be very different.
Kuznetsova at 1.86 holds little appeal with her recent history of choking, but the over 21.5 total games certainly looks a better bet at the same price.
Jelena Jankovic vs Sorana Cirstea
I heard someone on TV describe JJ as a ‘clay court specialist’ the other day, which made chuckle, and the Serb supposed specialist, whose only clay title in the last five years came at altitude in a weak field in Bogota, faces a tough match today.
Cirstea can turn it on and if she does the 1.25 on Jankovic will start to look painfully short, with the erratic Romanian buoyed by her 5-2 head-to-head career lead over JJ.
Jankovic, as she tends to do, has found ways to win without impressing so far in Paris and she’ll need to be on her guard against the big hitting of Cirstea, who is a very dangerous opponent with little to lose as underdog today.
Sori won both of their prior meetings on clay and their most recent clash on hard last summer and I see no reason why she can’t take at least a set today if she plays to her best form.
Indeed, her best level could win this comfortably, so as ever with Cirstea it’s a case of which one will turn up.
Odds-against about her winning a set seems more than reasonable and I will side with the 2.04 about that eventuality here.
Elsewhere on a card with plenty of possibilities today, the 1.72 about a resurgent Sloane Stephens looks decent against Kate Makarova, who’s been struggling with her health and had the trainer out in her last match looks decent too.
Back over 21.5 games in Kvitova/Kuznetsova at 1.87
Back Cirstea +1.5 sets to beat Jankovic at 2.04