Sunday, 2 June 2013

French Open 4th Round Predictions, Day 9: Wawrinka-Gasquet, Schiavone-Azarenka

1. Stanislas Wawrinka v Richard Gasquet
Richard Gasquet
The star of Monday's schedule is between two of the nearly men who are both a joy to watch at times, but have let their mental frailties from reaching their true potential.  Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet have both had good, solid seasons and this should make for a very entertaining 4th round match.  Wawrinka beat Jerzy Janowicz on Saturday in 4 sets, 6-3 6-7(2) 6-3 6-3 for a very impressive victory against a dangerous opponent.  Gasquet has not been tested, but nor has he failed to deliver as he served up a third consecutive straight sets win with victory over Nikolay Davydenko.  

Rather surprisingly, Wawrinka and Gasquet have only played once on the ATP tour, which Gasquet won in 2006.  Wawrinka's form has been the more impressive of late with a title in Oeiras and final run in Madrid.  Gasquet didn't play his best in Rome or Madrid, falling before the quarter-finals in both.  The telling statistic for Gasquet though is that he is 1-14 in 4th round Grand Slam matches, the one exception being when he passed the 4th round and produced a heroic quarter-final effort to defeat Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2007 when he hit over 90 winners.  Wawrinka has only made one more Grand Slam quarter-final than Gasquet so this is a huge match for both.  As much as I like Gasquet, he just doesn't seem to cut it at this stage and will have the added pressure of an expectant crowd.  To others it would be a help, but in Gasquet's case, I see it as pressure.  Advantage Wawrinka...

Prediction - Wawrinka to beat Gasquet in 5 sets

2. Francesca Schiavone v Victoria Azarenka
I thought the 3rd round match between Francesca Schiavone and Marion Bartoli could be a hilarious epic of a three setter, but Schiavone was completely on the ball to beat Bartoli, 6-2 6-1.  Schiavone now takes on Victoria Azarenka, who came from a set a down to beat a spirited effort from Alize Cornet, who was on a 7-match winning streak.  Vika leads the head-to-head by two wins to one, but they have not played since 2009.  If this match-up took place on any other court or tournament, I would back Vika in 2 easy sets; however Schiavone is playing very well right now and Azarenka showed against Cornet she is vulnerable, particularly if she serves as poorly as she did on Saturday.  I toyed with a three setter, but I give the edge to Vika in a tough two setter.

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Schiavone in 2 tight sets

3. Jamie Hampton v Jelena Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic
While Tommy Haas and John Isner captivated audiences on Saturday night, Jelena Jankovic quietly came through a tough encounter with Sam Stosur, 3-6 6-3 6-4.  This was a stunning victory for JJ, who has showed she is playing with a lot more confidence right now than at the start of the year when she would 100% have lost a match like this.  Jankovic now takes on Jamie Hampton, who had a fantastic win over Petra Kvitova, 6-1 7-6(7).  The American player is really delivering on the big stage and that will produce big ranking points.  This is such a HUGE opportunity for both players; Hampton has beaten JJ before, but I was impressed by the manner of Jankovic's performance against Stosur and give her the edge in what I am sure will be a very, very tight match.

Prediction - Jankovic to beat Hampton in 3 sets

4. Rafael Nadal v Kei Nishikori
Rafael Nadal has been far from impressive in his 2013 Roland Garros campaign, but managed to get the job done against Fabio Fognini, 7-6 6-4 6-4, who had all manner of chances to get at least a set in their third round clash.  Nadal now takes on Kei Nishikori, who has made it back-to-back 4th round appearances at the Grand Slams as he edged out Benoit Paire in 4 sets; that match was pretty dramatic as Paire received a point penalty on a set point in the 2nd set for coaching.  Nishikori's consistency could easily be rewarded with a top ten ranking by the end of the year, but if he is to progress further then he needs to start producing the big wins.  It is extremely unlikely to come here though as Nadal should start to pick up his form...

Prediction - Nadal to beat Nishikori in 3 tight sets

Best of the rest: 4th round womens predictions
Bethanie Mattek-Sands to beat Maria Kirilenko in 3 sets - Mattek-Sands was in danger of falling to Paula Ormaechea but came back well to win in 3 sets.  Kirilenko is a very tough opponent, but I get the feeling Mattek's dream journey is going to keep rolling.
Maria Sharapova to beat Sloane Stephens in 2 sets - Impressive from Sloane to make back-to-back RG 4th rounds and put all that Serena hoo-ha behind her.  Maria's winning this though...

Best of the rest: 4th round mens predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat Phillipp Kohlschreiber in 3 sets - Kohlschreiber is a talented player, but frequently fails to deliver in the big moments.
Tommy Haas to beat Mikhail Youzhny in 4 sets - I have to go for Tommy!


  1. Gasquet folded up like a tent.

  2. Gasquet vs Wawrinka

    j'avais cru que la "blessure" de Wawrinka était bien réelle ...mais ça c'est bien terminé comme tu l'avais pronostiqué