Posts Tagged ‘Garbine Muguruza’

PostHeaderIcon Serena Williams’ Tough Road to Number 6 at SW19: My Wimbledon Women’s Preview

Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou (Billie Weiss/AELTC)

Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou (Billie Weiss/AELTC)

As I wrote in my piece on Serena Williams’ Centre Court snub, few players can so effectively use perceived wrongdoings to their advantage as Serena. She generally plays her best tennis when she feels she’s got something to prove. However, this year’s Wimbledon draw is a pretty tough ‘ask’. Can Patrick help her get through it for a sixth Wimbledon crown? We’ll find out soon enough. Here are my thoughts on this year’s draw, and why I see no clear favorites for the title.

(* – Expected R16 matches)

Top Half, Top Quarter

Serena Williams [1] – Eugenie Bouchard [13] *

Wildcards: Cornet (Williams), Petkovic (Bouchard)

Angelique Kerber [9] – Maria Sharapova [5] *

Wildcards: Flipkens (Kerber), Pavlyuchenkova or Riske or Giorgi (Sharapova)

The expected quarterfinal match with Maria isn’t the tough part for Serena. That comes earlier when she has to get by Alize Cornet, the woman who sent her packing in Dubai. After that comes with a potential R16 match against the winner of French Open semifinalists: Genie Bouchard or Andrea Petkovic. Either will be a tough opponent at a stage in the tournament when a No. 1 seed might least expect it.

The bottom section presents its’ own challenges for Kerber and Sharapova. Kerber, finalist at Eastbourne, could be derailed by Kirsten Flipkens, last year’s semifinalist. And Sharapova has a particularly tricky trio to overcome with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Allison Riske, or Camilla Giorgi.

Each woman is capable of an early upset, and Maria will need to bring her “A” game right away. The same holds true of Serena. She’s got to be “bring it”, no matter what court she’s scheduled to play. Can they both do it? I think so, but there’s no guarantee that we won’t end up seeing a Bouchard-Giorgi quarterfinal either.

(UPDATE: I’ll update this quarter with the caveat that IF Serena successfully makes it to the quarters, she’s got a good chance of going all the way.)

Top Half, Bottom Quarter

Simona Halep [3] – Carla Suarez Navarro [15] *

Wildcards: Vinci (Suarez Navarro)

Ana Ivanovic [11] – Jelena Jankovic [7] *

Wildcards: Lisicki (Ivanovic), Townsend or Keys or Shvedova (Jankovic)

The top section of this quarter is likely to end with the expected R16 match between Halep and Suarez Navarro. Roberta Vinci could pose a slight threat to CSN, but I think the Spaniard has too much game to be derailed.

The bottom section of this quarter has much more potential for drama, especially after Madison Keys’ win in Eastbourne for her first WTA title, and first on grass. Add Taylor Townsend and heavy-hitter Yaroslava Shvedova to the mix and Jelena Jankovic is going to have a tough time making it to R16, let alone the quarters.

After vanquishing Jankovic, Keys could do the same to Ivanovic. From there, I don’t think I’d be going too far out on a limb in predicting a Halep-Keys quarterfinal.

Bottom Half, Top Quarter

Victoria Azarenka [8] – Dominika Cibulkova [10] *

Wildcards: Vandeweghe or Muguruza (Azarenka), Safarova (Cibulkova)

Sara Errani [14] – Agnieszka Radwanska [4] *

Wildcards: Garcia or Pironkova or Makarova (Errani), Kuznetsova (Radwanska)

It’s good to have Vika back in the mix, but she’s going to have virtually no impact at this Wimbledon. So look for the top section of this quarter to be about as wide open as you can get with Cibulkova, Garbine Muguruza, Lucie Safarova, and TopShelf champion Coco Vandeweghe all vying for the top quarterfinal spot.

On the bottom, look for Tsvetana Pironkova or Ekaterina Makarova to knock Errani out of contention. And depending on which Svetlana shows up in London, Kuznetsova has a chance at knocking out Radwanska given her current level of play. Grass isn’t her best surface, but you never know.

In figuring out the quarterfinalists, the top section is a crapshoot. Vika is a non-starter. Vandeweghe’s win at TopShelf doesn’t take away from her past inconsistencies.  Muguruza’s past Wimbledon results don’t bode well. And Cibulkova and Safarova are 50-50 crapshoots. For lack of any other compelling evidence, I’ll (half-heartedly) go with Cibulkova-Radwanska.

Bottom Half, Bottom Quarter

Petra Kvitova [6] – Flavia Pennetta [12] *

Wildcards: V. Williams (Kvitova), Stephens (Pennetta)

Caroline Wozniacki [16] – Na Li [2] *

Wildcards: Stosur (Wozniacki)

I’d love to see Venus Williams have a good run at Wimbledon, but there are too many dependencies for her to go deep. R16, however is doable if the weather isn’t too hot and she can minimize her court time. From there, maybe a quarterfinal match-up against Sloane Stephens. I’d give Petra more of a chance if she weren’t so inconsistent: a sad statement in reference to a former Wimbledon champion.

The bottom section will likely play out as expected with Caroline Wozniacki facing off against Li Na in the other R16 match. To be honest, I don’t expect a ton of great tennis, or even clean tennis. I do, however, expect them both to get the job done. They’ve never played each other on grass, but Li holds a 4-2 H2H lead. So the nod goes to her for the quarters.

I’m wary of more Sloane disappointment, but will go ahead and give her the nod in the top section for a Stephens-Li quarterfinal.

Quarterfinal Picks

Williams – Sharapova, Halep – Keys, Cibulkova – Radwanska, Stephens – Li

Notable First-Round Matches

A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) [26] v Alison Riske (USA)

Klara Koukalova (CZE) [31] v Taylor Townsend (USA)

Madison Keys (USA) v Monica Puig (PUR)

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [27]

PostHeaderIcon Ten (Plus Ten) Final Thoughts on the Maria 2 – Rafa 9 French Open

2014 French Open Champions: Maria Sharapova and Rafa Nadal (© FFT)

2014 French Open Champions: Maria Sharapova and Rafa Nadal (© FFT)

Quickly, and off the top of my head. After all, grass court tennis begins in earnest, yes? 😉 Let’s start with the improbable victory of the ladies champion.

  1. Maria Sharapova won her second French Open title in her third straight year of reaching the finals. It’s a remarkable achievement for a player whom many only figured to be a force on hard court/grass, and who wasn’t supposed to make it past the quarterfinals. If only she could overcome her Serena issue
  2. She may not have any huge weapons, but Simona Halep is the real deal! Her “weapon” is a solid all-court game with clean technique, tremendous footwork and excellent court smarts. Honestly, it’s a pleasure to watch.
  3. Ditto that for Genie Bouchard! The girl’s got spunk, and a decent game to match. If she’s able to reach Slam semifinals at this stage of her career, one can only imagine the potential in a year or so. Plus, you gotta love anyone who’s willing to call out Maria “We’re Not Friends” Sharapova before a match.
  4. Ditto again for Garbine Muguruza, the Serena giant killer!
  5. What a pleasure it was to see Andrea Petkovic return to the latter stages of a big tournament after being sidelined, on and off, for the past few years due to injury. Not so sure if I’m glad to see the return of the Petko dance, but I guess it’s a package deal.
  6. Serena Williams is human, and that unfortunately happens more at Roland Garros than any other Slam. But for the love of God, PLEASE don’t photobomb anyone else’s wedding with a scanty leotard.
  7. Is it wrong of me to admit that I have a hard time taking Li Na seriously as a Slam champion when she performs as unevenly as she does, all the while saying, “I think it was a pretty good match”?
  8. Aga Radwanska is struggling to maintain her place atop the game this year. Will that change on grass?
  9. I’d love to get behind Sloane Stephens 100%, but she makes it pretty hard with post-match comments like, “”In the end you’ll see, I guess, whatever happens” or “Do you want me to say like I need to win a tournament? Is that what you’re saying?” Sloane is a great talent but hasn’t figured out that you don’t get all the benefits of tennis stardom without some kind of a cost; either by winning or at least being civil to the press when you don’t.
  10. Rafa Nadal is the greatest clay court tennis player of all time! However, it’s still premature to anoint him GOAT. Feel free to discuss though…
  11. Novak Djokovic finally understands what Roger Federer had to endure before him as the second-best clay court player on the planet with absolutely no chance of winning the French Open.
  12. Is anyone else concerned about how brutal the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry has become? Watching great tennis is one thing, watching an MMA match masquerading as tennis is another.
  13. Andy Murray is back…kind of. He made the semifinals but played a horrible match against Rafa. We should expect more than 6 games from of a player of his stature. Then again, GOAT Federer only won 4 games in his 2008 final with Rafa. Also, Kudos to Andy for hiring Amelie Mauresmo as his coach for the grass court season. My only hope is that she’s not judged differently than current male players coaching female players.
  14. Ernests Gulbis kept it together long enough to reach his first Slam semifinal in Paris, defeating Federer along the way. It’s good to see him finally put his talent where his mouth is.
  15. Speaking of Roger Federer, I admire his want to remain active during the clay season after the birth of his twin sons, Leo and Lennart, but it showed in his focus and level of play. It’s going to be interesting to see how he manages his schedule for the rest of the season.
  16. We may have to accept that Stan Wawrinka will never be the champion we want him to be. It’s just not in his nature. But it would be nice to see a consistent level of performance befitting a Slam winner. Let’s call it the “Andy Murray Rule”.
  17. It’s a good thing that John Isner is a big guy, because the weight of the US tennis world on his shoulders must be daunting.
  18. Congratulations to Marinko Matosevic for winning his first main draw Slam match. It was a long time coming, but we knew you’d get there.
  19. Goodbye Micheal Llodra! Goodbye Nikolay Davydenko?
  20. I’m still shaking my head over the embarrassing Mahut “congratulations” after his loss. Note to all journos: come prepared, or don’t come at all! And my final note to TC on your “Outrage or Meh” segment. Come one!?!?!?! If you want it done right, hire me for a proper “Shock or Not”! That is all.

On that note, I’m out. Next stop: Wimbledon!

PostHeaderIcon Reflecting On Maria’s Improbable French Open Triumph

Maria Sharapova holds the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after her victory over Simona Halep. (© FFT)

Maria Sharapova holds the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after her victory over Simona Halep. (© FFT)

By defeating Simona Halep in a thrilling 3-set French Open final, Maria Sharapova won her second title at Roland Garros, and the fifth major title of her career. Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on this achievement, and some odd facts which underlie this improbable win.

Notably, 2014 marked Maria’s third straight appearance in a French Open final. The last women to appear in three straight finals, no easy task, were 4-time champion Justine Henin, and 3-time champion Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario. Pretty good company, huh?

Not content to settle for merely an appearance, Maria succeeded in winning her second title in that three-year span. Compare that to her rival Serena Williams, who needed 11 years for her second French Open win (2002, 2013). Serena may have more total Slams, but she certainly can’t match Maria’s efficiency at collecting them in Paris.

Maria Sharapova (© FFT)

Maria Sharapova (© FFT)

Moreover, Maria’s win in Paris came in a year when she wasn’t even expected to make it past the quarterfinals, due in large part to the aforementioned Serena. Placed in Serena’s quarter of the draw, she was slated to play the defending champ in the quarterfinals. And since it’s been nearly a decade since Maria has beaten Serena, that expected meeting probably wasn’t going to do anything to change the pattern of this all-too-familiar narrative.

Therein lays the major, pardon the pun, reason why this victory was so improbable. Maria, by some twist of tennis nature after her shoulder surgery, has become a clay court tour de force. She’s capable of beating almost any opponent on this surface; that is, any opponent not named Serena.

Her clay record speaks for itself. Including this year’s win, Maria’s overall record at the French Open is 50-10: a phenomenal 20-1 in the past three years. She’s beaten several quality opponents along the way, but can’t seem to overcome the Serena conundrum. (By contrast, Serena is 8-2 in the same 3-year period.)

Just imagine what could have been if there’d been a “Garbine Muguruza” (or Virginie Razzano, for that matter) to knock out Serena in 2013. We could have potentially seen Maria pull off a hat trick at one of the toughest Slams on the calendar. I hate to repeat this tired quotable, but that’s pretty remarkable for a self-described “cow on ice”.

Like the rest of her matches in the second week, the final wasn’t pretty. Maria racked up 12 double faults, 52 unforced errors, 7 breaks of serve, and won only 39% of her second serves. These are fairly atrocious numbers for any match, let alone a Slam final.

But Maria did what she does best, steadying her nerves when it mattered most in the third set. She found a way to win, then willed herself to do so in spite of Halep. If only she could do that when Serena is on the other side of the net, who knows what might have been in addition to a French Open hat trick?

This win tied Maria with Martina Hingis for # of Slam titles in the Open era, though I’m fairly certain she could care less about the specific number right now. Maria’s too busy relishing the fruits of a hard-fought win, and rightly so. Maybe on a subconscious level, she’s even secretly thanking the Spanish woman who made this all possible.

Garbine should expect something VERY nice for Christmas.

PostHeaderIcon Crunch Time For The Women and Men in Paris: A Quick French Open Quarterfinal Preview

Sharapova, Errani, Halep, and Bouchard

Sharapova, Errani, Halep, and Bouchard

Here’s a quick preview of the French Open quarterfinals, including my original picks AND my revised picks. Ladies first…

WOMEN

* – original pick for quarterfinal winner

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) v Maria Sharapova (RUS) [7]
H2H: Sharapova leads 1-0

On paper, Maria is the clear favorite in this match. But that means nothing in an upset-laden tournament such as this one. Nor does it matter to the woman who knocked out Serena Williams then backed it up with two more solid wins. My gut says Maria, but I won’t be surprised if Garbine comes out of this one with another high-profile scalp to add to her collection.

Original Picks: Serena Williams*, Maria Sharapova

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [14] v Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) [18]
H2H: Suarez Navarro leads 1-0

Carla’s playing great tennis and Eugenie has a ton of confidence. Since I haven’t seen either of their matches, I can’t really use their prior matches to predict this outcome. It’s a toss-up, but I’ll give the nod to Eugenie. My gut tells me that, all hype aside, she’s the real deal. Let’s hope she lives up to it.

Original Picks: Aga Radwanska*, Flavia Pennetta

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [27] v Simona Halep (ROU) [4]
H2H: Head-to-head is tied at 2-all

Out with the old, in with the new! Sveta has done well to make it this far, but Simona is playing excellent tennis. She’s completely owned her ascension to the top of the women’s game, and doesn’t look likely to be derailed from a first-ever French Open semifinal. If Sveta has a good day, you never know what could happen. But it’s not likely…

Original Picks: Simona Halep*, Ana Ivanovic

Sara Errani (ITA) [10] v Andrea Petkovic (GER) [28]
H2H: Head-to-head is tied at 1-all

Add me to the ranks of people who are thrilled to see Andrea fit, and playing great tennis again after way too many injuries in her short career. That said, this is an interesting (and odd) match-up with not much history to help us figure out who will come out on top. Sara has gone much further than I thought she would after her injury in the Rome final, and looks poised to go further. Experience will make the difference in this match-up.

Original Picks: Li Na*, Jelena Jankovic

Revised Quarterfinal Picks: Sharapova, Bouchard, Halep, Errani

Nadal, Murray, Gulbis, and Djokovic.

Nadal, Murray, Gulbis, and Djokovic.

MEN

* – original pick for quarterfinal winner

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [1] v David Ferrer (ESP) [5]
H2H: Nadal leads 21-6

Before the tournament began, I gave the nod to Rafa in this quarter in spite of Rafa’s loss to David in Monte Carlo. All of a sudden, however, there’s a lot of background chatter about Rafa’s back. (And we all remember what happened in Australia when his back went out.) Still, if injury isn’t an issue, I can’t see David hanging with Rafa for “best of five”.

Original Picks: Rafa Nadal*, David Ferrer

Gael Monfils (FRA) [23] v Andy Murray (GBR) [7]
H2H: Murray leads 3-2

As I tweeted earlier today, this match pits “ridiculous defense against ridiculous defense”! But in the end, Andy’s experience will win out. His game is a notch or two more disciplined than Gael’s, and that will be enough for a trip to the semifinals. And don’t forget to bring your popcorn.

Original Picks: Stan Wawrinka*, Andy Murray

Tomas Berdych (CZE) [6] v Ernests Gulbis (LAT) [18]
H2H: Berdych leads 4-2

It’s anyone’s guess as to who will prevail in this quarter. Tomas has had an excellent tournament, dropping only two sets along the way. He seems to be in a good headspace and is playing excellent tennis. Ernests, however, has a huge amount of confidence and momentum coming into this match after defeating Roger Federer in R16. Tomas leads the H2H, but Ernests is playing with such variety that I can see him unsettling his Czech opponent early, and often.

Original Picks: Roger Federer*, Roberto Bautista Agut

Milos Raonic (CAN) [8] v Novak Djokovic (SRB) [2]
H2H: Djokovic leads 2-0

Milos has worked hard to improve his suspect movement on clay, and the results speak for themselves. Unfortunately for him in this match, he’s playing the second best clay court player in the world. Novak moves better, and has shot variety, can return big serves, and easily turns defense to offense. Even if Milos plays the match of his life, it still won’t be enough to overcome Novak’s ruthless path to the final.

Original Picks: Novak Djokovic*, Milos Raonic

Revised quarters picks: Nadal, Murray, Gulbis, Djokovic

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon A Serena Shock, And A Venus Not: Day Four “Shock or Not” from Roland Garros

Serena Williams after her 2nd round loss to Garbine Muguruza at the French Open

It’d be great to wake up just one morning this week and NOT have to immediately start writing a brand new Shock or Not! Then again, what do I expect from a Slam that boasts one-and-done champions such as Iva Majoli and Gaston Gaudio?! (No disrespect intended, but you get the point.)

Anyway, past women’s Slam champs are dropping like flies at this year’s French Open. First to go was Li Na. Now it’s defending champion Serena Williams. And, as is often the case with the Williams, Venus lost her second round match in a show of sisterly solidarity. And in a surprising twist, Taylor Townsend is the lone African-American from the US to reach the third round.

Serena Williams (© FFT)

Serena Williams (© FFT)

Buckle up for those three, and more, in today’s edition of “Shock or Not”.

Garbine Muguruza defeats Serena Williams: Shock or Not? Another Epic Shock, but…

… a third French Open title was never a sure thing.

Still, it’s a shock anytime Serena loses in the early rounds. After devastating the competition in Rome, she appeared to be primed for a French title defense. But therein lays the problem for Serena in Paris. Primed to win doesn’t mean that she will win. Only 2 of her 17 Slam titles are from the French Open, and they’re separated by a span of 11 years. We’ve seen this pattern played out before.

Also, it’s no secret that clay blunts Serena’s power and challenges her movement more than any other surface. Though she can still hit most players off the court, clay gives a select few the chance to capitalize on her occasional off days. Muguruza has two titles on the year (singles: Hobart, doubles: Marrakech), and is undoubtedly a player to watch. She played a great match on a day when nothing was working for Serena.

So even though this is an epic shock, there’s a reason that “Serena the Great” only has two French Open titles.

Venus Williams  (© FFT)

Venus Williams (© FFT)

Anna Schmiedlova defeats Venus Williams: Shock or Not? Sorry, but Not.

I love Venus, and am glad to see her still trying to compete in spite of both age and health challenges. Unfortunately, the reality is that Venus will always struggle when the conditions push her body beyond what it’s capable of enduring. This is true of the Melbourne heat, the Parisian clay grind, the slowed Wimbledon grass, and the oppressive New York humidity.

Sometimes, however, it’s not the conditions. Because of her current health status, the wheels can (and have) inexplicably fallen off her game; causing her to lose matches in three tough sets when she looked likely to win in two. Such was the case against Schmiedlova. After being up a set and break, Venus lost 8 of the final 9 games.

Venus is long past her prime, and likely won’t lift another Slam trophy before she retires. But that’s okay. We love her anyway.

Taylor Townsend  (© FFT)

Taylor Townsend (© FFT)

Taylor Townsend defeats Alize Cornet: Shock or Not? Shock, but I LOVE It!

Taylor has come a long way since her “attempted benching” by the USTA in 2012. She turned pro, hired a coach (Zina Garrison), and has worked hard to make a successful transition from the junior ranks to the WTA. Slowly but surely, the results are starting to come. In fact, they were on full display today against Cornet, who gave her the best compliment that one player can give another. I can’t find the direct quote, but Cornet basically said, “She does everything that I don’t like.”

Fitness questions, and I’m not just talking about her weight, may always be something with which Taylor must handle in terms of the press. But if today is any indication, I think she’ll be just fine!

Jerzy Janowicz defeats Jarkko Nieminen: Shock or Not? What do you think?

Coming into this year’s French Open, the slumping (and moody) Janowicz was 0-4 on clay. Now he’s into the third round. I can’t be the only one who finds this perplexing, can I???

Radek Stepanek defeats Mikhail Youzhny: Shock or Not? Mild Shock.

I guess the old guy still has it.

johnson-shock

Steve Johnson (© FFT)

Dmitry Tursunov defeats Sam Querrey: Shock or Not? Not.

I don’t want to give up on Sam, but…

Johanna Larsson defeats Flavia Pennetta: Shock or Not? Not.

Flavia had a brilliant moment in the sun with her win at the BNP Paribas Open. Everything else in 2014 will be like Mary Pierce’s “I’m just glad to be here” moment at her US Open final against Kim Clijsters.

Steve Johnson defeats Laurent Lokoli: Shock or Not? No Shock, but definitely impressive!

After a tough first year on the men’s tour, Johnson did some soul-searching and LOTS of hard work on the mental part of his game. All of it showed in his come-from-behind win over Lokoli. He faced long odds and a partisan crowd, but overcame it all in a mature performance that he wouldn’t have managed as well even a year ago.

Marcel Granollers defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov: Shock or Not? Mild Shock.

Come on Dog!?!?!?!?

 

PostHeaderIcon An Australian Open “Shock or Not” Weekend Edition Feat. A Serena Stunner

Serena Williams (Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia)

Serena Williams (Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia)

With the ouster of Serena Williams, the women’s top seed and prohibitive favorite for the 2014 Australian Open title, I felt compelled to write a quick “Shock or Not” celebrating the defeat of the current #1 by a former #1…along with a couple of other nuggets from the past two days. As always, let me know what you think about these matches, or some of your own that you think qualify in the “Shock or Not” category.

WTA

Ana Ivanovic defeats Serena Williams: Shock or Not? ALL CAPS SHOCK

f_ivanovic_d7_18

Ana Ivanovic (Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia)

Ana pulled off the stunner of the tournament by coming back from the loss of the first set to beat Serena in three sets for a spot in the quarterfinals. As fragile as her tennis has been at times during the past few years is as solid as she was against Serena. Her serve was solid, her service return was impeccable, and her forehand hurt Serena from start to finish. I was bothered by Patrick Mouratoglou’s immediate dismissal of Serena’s loss due to injury via “blocked back”, because it took the focus off of Ana’s brilliant execution in beating Serena for the first time in her career. Serena was gracious in her interview, and did her best to downplay Patrick’s injury revelations. She’s been burned enough times in the past for not giving credit where credit was due that she took great pains to compliment Ana. No matter though. The Serena Haters, however, will still find a way to hate…

Flavia Pennetta defeats Angelique Kerber: Shock or Not? Shock

Maybe it’s not so much the shock of this particular victory more than it’s the shock that Flavia has made it so far in this tournament. What looked to be a bad wrist injury at the Hopman Cup, the same wrist she’d had surgically repaired in 2012, turned out to be simple inflammation. With the inflammation gone, she’s quietly worked her way through to her first Aussie quarters; and maybe further.

Garbine Muguruza defeats Caroline Wozniacki: Shock or Not? Shock…kinda

Caroline started this year’s tournament on fire with the loss of only two games, but faltered badly in the last round; beating Christina McHale in three shaky sets. That’s not the kind of thing you want to do against a player who came into Melbourne on a roll after winning the title in Hobart. Garbine might not be a household name, but the World #38 has started the season strongly in 2014. Bye bye Caroline.

ATP

Grigor Dimitrov (Reuters)

Grigor Dimitrov defeats Milos Raonic: Shock or Not? Not

I’m not shocked by this result because these are two of the brightest prospects on the ATP horizon. The perpetual hype of “Future Grand Slam winners” is annoying, but that’s not their fault. Nonetheless, both guys “got game” (Milos has 5 career titles, Grigor has 1). And it was a great match of power serving and ground strokes versus excellent defense and all-court prowess. What’s really shocking is the fact that this is Grigor’s first-ever R16 showing i.e. making it past the third round at a Grand Slam.

Roberto Bautista Agut defeats Benoit Paire: Shock or Not? Not

Hate to put it so bluntly, but Paire is French, prone to temperament issues, and lost to Bautista Agut in Auckland a couple of weeks ago. Not the best combo for him heading into this match.

Easy Peasy

Rafael Nadal defeats Gael Monfils: Shock or Not? Not

It’s not a shock that Rafa beat Gael, but it is a shock that he beat him in straight sets 1, 2, and 3 after such a tight encounter in Doha. Gael has tons of talent, tons of flash, and (unfortunately) no substantial Slam results to back it up.

Dominika Cibulkova defeats Carla Suarez Navarro: Shock or Not? Not, but…

It’s not a shock that Dominika won this match, because we all know how well she can play. It’s extremely shocking, however, that she only gave up one game in giving Carla a bagel and a breadstick. She did the same thing to her second round opponent too. Can she make it a carbohydrate “hat trick”?

Men’s Dubs

No shocking matches in particular; just a general note that, besides the Bryan brothers, the men’s top seeds in doubles are dropping like flies.

Women’s Dubs

Alize Cornet/Caroline Garcia defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova/Samantha Stosur: Shock or Not? Not

This one should be a shock, but sadly it’s not. <shaking my head at Sveta and Sam>

Women’s Legends’ Doubles

Nicole Bradtke/Rennae Stubbs defeats Martina Hingis/Martina Navratilova: Shock or Not? Shock

Can someone please tell me how these two legendary Martinas got beat??? My mind just can’t comprehend that scenario. 🙂

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