The rain in Paris is wreaking havoc on the draw.  Some players are still yet to complete their second round match, and we have players who are already in the third round, getting ready to enter the round of 16.  No doubt, the fitness and mental focus of every single player will now come into focus as they try to finish their matches in a short a time as possible as they will no doubt have to play 2 matches per day. 

For the men it will be very hard especially if you have to play a 5 set match.  Look for a lot of players to play aggressively on the day in order to finish points quickly.  I doubt there will be a lot of racquet consultations between points as most of the players will be trying to finish their matches, rest and recover and perhaps head out to the court again for their next match. 

That being said, below are today’s results of the matches that were completed today. The big news was the upset of Li Na by Bethanie Mattek-Sands.  I sensed in my post yesterday that there may have been an upset, as Li has not looked like a world beater during this clay court swing.  Credit to Mattek-Sands for playing aggressive tennis to get the win and make it through to the next round. 

Day 4  Completed Matches

Of the 16 ladies’ matches scheduled today, 11 were completed.  Spin had a 63% success rate of those matches which were completed.  On the schedule tomorrow are 5 matches from Day 3 to be completed and Day 6 matches which will be detailed further.  The Day 3 matches for completion are:-

Kaia Kanepi v Stefanie Voegele 
Ashleigh Barty v Maria Kirilenko
Marion Bartoli v Mariana Duque-Marino
Francesca Schiavone v Kirsten Flipkens
Eugenie Bouchard v Maria Sharapova

Day 6 Scheduled Matches and Picks:

Serena Williams v Sorana Cirstea – the No. 1 is still on a mission
Petra Cetkovska v Roberta Vinci – she shocked me in the previous round. Maybe she will do it again
Bojana Jovanovski v Svetlana Kuznetsova – again, making no waves but playing good tennis
Varvara Lepchenko Angelique Kerber – this is a toss up
Agnieszka Radwanska v Dinah Pfizenmaier – the qualifier’s dream ends here
Virginie Razzano v Ana Ivanovic – so does the dream of the wild card
Monica Puig v Carla Suarez Navarro – think the youngster just has a little more firepower than CSN
Sabine Lisicki Sara Errani – will run rings around Lisicki 


The results of the  rain delayed Day 3 of the bottom half of the draw were completed today and Spin had an 80% success rate. Of the 16 matches played on Day 4, Spin had a 75% success rate.  The upset, if it can be called that these days, saw Jovanovski, the young Serbian, sending former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki packing in straight sets.  There was a lot of hand wringing today during the Suarez-Navaro/Rogers’ match, but I was always confident that Carla would pull through. 

Below are the results from Day 4 of the top half of the draw.  Of the 16 matches played,  Spin had a 75% success rate.  Spin’s picks are in blue.  
Serena Williams v Caroline Garcia
Johanna Larsson v Sorana Cirstea
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Petra Cetkovska 
Galina Voskoboeva v Roberta Vinci
Caroline Wozniacki v Bojana Jovanovski
Magdalena Rybarikova v Svetlana Kuznetsova
Varvara Lepchenko v Elina Svitolina
Jana Cepelova v Angelique Kerber
Agnieszka Radwanska v Mallory Burdette 
Dinah Pfizenmaierv Urszula Radwanska
Zuzana Kucova v Virginie Razzano
Mathilde Johansson v Ana Ivanovic
Monica Puig v Madison Keys 
Shelby Rogers v Carla Suarez Navarro
Sabine Lisicki [32] v Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 
Yulia Putintseva v Sara Errani
Tomorrow sees the third round (Day 5) of the bottom half of the ladies’ draw, together with the second round of the same bottom half of the draw.  Confused, just think rain delays catch up.  The matches scheduled and Spin’s picks (in red) are below:-
Na Li v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (could be an upset in the making but still going with Li)
Paula Ormaechea v Yaroslava Shvedova (youngster might be able to make it over the line)
Kaia Kanepi v Stefanie Voegele (Kanepi is on form and should go through in straights)
Ashleigh Barty v Maria Kirilenko (the youngster has variety and is not afraid)
Marion Bartoli [13] v Mariana Duque-Marino (does Bartoli have the stamina for a battle?)
Francesca Schiavone v Kirsten Flipkens (memories are driving Fran these days)
Alize Cornet v Silvia Soler Espinosa (ordinarily I would pick Cornet but Espinosa has impressed)
Annika Beck v Victoria Azarenka (the AO champ will have an easy time of it)
Petra Kvitova v Shuai Peng (had a bit of a wobble today but can’t see her falling to Peng #famous last words)
Anna Karolina Schmiedlovav Jamie Hampton (back to back matches might be too much for Hampton’s back)
Jelena Jankovic v Garbine Muguruza (JJ will be too consistent for the young Spaniard)
Kristina Mladenovic v Samantha Stosur (too much firepower from Stosur for Kirstina to overcome)
Dominka Cibulkova v Marina Erakovic (movement will be the determining factor in this match up)
Vania King v Sloane Stephens (Sloane seems to be focused on tennis)
Melanie Oudin v Jie Zheng (it will be the battle of the little ones)
Eugenie Bouchard v Maria Sharapova (the World’s No. 2 should have an easy time of it)

The Fourth Round is shaping up to have some really good matches. I for one am looking forward to seeing 


Day 3 Results and Day 4 Picks and Pans
Some of the matches in the bottom half of the draw were cancelled due to the weather in Paris today.  Matches to recommence tomorrow include Azarenka and Kvitova. 
Of the 20 matches scheduled for Day 3 on the ladies’ side, only 10 matches were completed. Of the 10 completed matches, Spin had a 60% success rate.  The matches which are to be completed tomorrow are:-
Klara Zakopalova [23] vs Kaia Kanepi
Stefanie Voegele vs Heather Watson
Ashleigh Barty vs Lucie Hradecka
Nina Bratchikova vs Maria Kirilenko
Sandra Zahlavova vs Annika Beck
Elena Vesnina vs Victoria Azarenka [3]
Petra Kvitova [7] vs Aravane Rezai
Shuai Peng vs Camila Giorgi
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova vs Yanina Wickmayer
Jamie Hampton vs Lucie Safarova [25]
Spin’s picks are highlighted in red.
Spin’s Day 4 Picks and Pans are below.  Spin’s Picks are in red.
Serena Williams v Caroline Garcia –the World’s No. 1 is on a mission, but the young upstart will have the French crowd behind her all the way.  This is the last match scheduled on Chartrier
Johanna Larsson v Sorana Cirstea – she proved me wrong in the first round. Let us see what happens going forward
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Petra Cetkovska – she battled hard to get through her first match.  Maybe she has learned something
Galina Voskoboeva v Roberta Vinci– I will take the veteran
Caroline Wozniacki v Bojana Jovanovski – rematch of Rome when Woz led 4-0 in the third set
Magdalena Rybarikova v Svetlana Kuznetsova – Sveta seems to be playing the tennis that we all know that she is capable of producing when she took down Makarova
Varvara Lepchenko v Elina Svitolina – Lepchenko seems to be trying to prove something … I can play tennis
Jana Cepelova v Angelique Kerberanother player who wants to make a statement
Agnieszka Radwanska v Mallory Burdette  – Aga will prove to be too consistent for Burdette
Dinah Pfizenmaier v Urszula Radwanska – has Ula recovered from her big win over Venus? If she has she may take out her opponent, but I don’t think so
Zuzana Kucova v Virginie Razzano– is Razzano ready for the third round? Last year after taking out Serena she fell in the very next round
Mathilde Johansson v Ana Ivanovic– after a letdown in the second set, she rebounded and won her first round match. Look for her to maintain that focus in this match, that is if she does not let the partisan crowd get to her
Monica Puig v Madison Keys – battle of the youngsters. While I would ordinarily pick Keys, she showed that she has huge lapses in concentration, something that her opponent does not show. Look for Puig to make it to the next round
Shelby Rogers v Carla Suarez Navarro– CSN seems to be on a mission.  Her consistency will overwhelm the young American
Sabine Lisicki [32] v Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor – even though Sabine won her first round match convincingly I am still not sold on her clay court prowess. Look for the Spaniard to take advantage of her lack of movement on this surface.

Yulia Putintseva v Sara Errani [5] – I am calling the upset here.  Yulia is a fighter and she will get under Errani’s skin. 

French Open Day 2 Results and Day 3 Picks and Pans

Day 2 of the French Open has come and gone. The most memorable thing that happened was unfortunately not on the ladies’ side but on the men’s side.  The No. 5 seed on the men’s side, Tomas Berdych fell in 5 sets to France’s Gael Monfils.  From what I read it was a battle royal.  Sharapova and the other seeded players on her side of the draw went through in straight sets. 

Spin had an almost 72% success rate with her Day 2 Picks.  Below are the Day 3 Picks and Pans.  Remember, if you are playing Suicide Pool, it pays to read the Spin’s Picks before making your Picks

Coco Vandeweghe vs Yaroslava Shvedova [27] – Will take Slava if only because of movement
Klara Zakopalova [23] vs Kaia Kanepi – Kaia had a big win in Brussels & she loves the clay
Stefanie Voegele vs Heather Watson – I was heartened by Voegele’s play in Charleston & Watson is just returning to the Tour after a bout of mono
Ashleigh Barty vs Lucie Hradecka – the youngster v the veteran
Nina Bratchikova vs Maria Kirilenko [12] – Kiri will prove to be too consistent
Marion Bartoli [13] vs Olga Govortsova – Olga has been playing really well but Bartoli is playing before her home crowd
Kristyna Pliskova vs Mariana Duque-Marino – a battle to the finish
Alize Cornet [31] vs Maria Joao Koehler – again, home crowd advantage and Cornet did reach the final in Strasbourg
Irina-Camelia Begu vs Silvia Soler-Espinosa – is the youngster ready to take it to the next level?
Sandra Zahlavova vs Annika Beck – again another youngster on the rise, can she?
Elena Vesnina vs Victoria Azarenka [3] – the reigning AO champ and Rome finalist against the winner in Hobart?  This one should either be a battle or an easy victory for Vika
Petra Kvitova [7] vs Aravane Rezai – I pondered this match when the draw came out and even though I am going with Petra, Rezai loves the big stage.  Can she pull the upset? Maybe
Shuai Peng vs Camila Giorgi – Peng lost the final in Brussels to Kanepi.  Has she recovered from that loss enough to do battle with the young upstart?
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova vs Yanina Wickmayer – every time I see Wickmayer’s name in a draw I am reminded that she still plays tennis and that she made the semis of the USO in 2009
Jamie Hampton vs Lucie Safarova [25] – Lucie has been MIA for most of the clay season.  Look for Hampton to score the upset. 
Jelena Jankovic[18] vs Daniela Hantuchova – JJ has been playing terrific tennis. Look for an easy victory here
Kristina Mladenovic vs Lauren Davis -I am going with Kristina, if only because I am not sure that clay is Davis’ preferred surface
Kimiko Date-Krumm vs Samantha Stosur [9] – as much as I would think that Krumm has a chance, Stosur played well in her 3 set loss to Vika in Rome.  Should continue along the same lines here. 
Dominika Cibulkova[16] vs Lesia Tsurenko – Cibulkova seems to have found her form late into the clay season. should prove to be too much to Tsurenko
Marina Erakovic vs Elena Baltacha – this is a toss up. No idea who will win but going with Baltacha if only because she has had a bit more match play on clay this season. 

Memories of Day 2 

Of the ladies’ matches that I saw today, Aga looked really good against a sub-par Peer.  Li, while having her walkabout moments played a really good match against clay specialist Anabel Medina-Garrigues.  Sharapova looked solid against Hsieh. Wozniacki showed us that despite her 5 first round losses, she is still a competitor.  Sveta also reminded us that she won this title in 2009 and Madison Keys continues to improve on this surface.  Georges’ wrist does not seem to have been healed sufficiently and Kerber seems to be finding ways to win even from impossible positions. 

French Open Day Results and Day 2 Picks and Pans

Day 1 Results (Spin’s Results are in Blue).  Of the 16 first round matches played today, Spin had a 68.75% accuracy rate.  Good going for the first day of play.

Serena Williams [1] v Anna Tatishvili
Caroline Garcia [WC] v Yuliya Beygelzimer [Q]
Sorana Cirstea[26] v Kiki Bertens
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [19] v Andrea Hlavackova
Petra Cetkovska v Olga Puchkova
Galina Voskoboeva [Q] v Grace Min [Q]
Mallory Burdette v Donna Vekic
Mandy Minella v Dinah Pfizenmaier [Q]
Venus Williams [30] v Urszula Radwanska
Virginie Razzano [WC] v Claire Feuerstein [WC]
Ana Ivanovic [14] v Petra Martic
Nadia Petrova [11] v Monica Puig
Irena Pavlovic [WC] v Shelby Rogers
Sabine Lisicki [32] v Sofia Arvidsson
Ayumi Morita v Yulia Putintseva
Sara Errani [5] v Arantxa Rus

Day 2 Picks and Pans are below.  Spin’s Picks are in red. 
Na Li [6] vs Anabel Medina Garrigues – tough one but Li should pull through in straights
Su-Wei Hsieh vs Maria Sharapova [2] 
Agnieszka Radwanska [4] vs Shahar Peer – how is the shoulder feeling Aga?
Caroline Wozniacki[10] vs Laura Robson – big match but Woz should pull through
Stephanie Foretz-Gacon vs Roberta Vinci [15] – 2 veterans but Vinci is playing great tennis
Flavia Pennetta vs Kirsten Flipkens [21] – Flavia, if only because Flipper does not do clay very well
Chanelle Scheepers vs Mathilde Johansson – home crowd advantage 
Mona Barthel vs Angelique Kerber [8] – battle of the Germans. Mona has been MIA but is Kerber  healthy?
Julia Goerges [24] vs Zuzana Kucova – how is Julia’s wrist? If healthy should be fine
Melinda Czink vs Francesca Schiavone – veteran battle, but Fran with memories should pull through
Simona Halep vs Carla Suarez Navarro [20] – this was a tough one as both ladies are playing really well
Varvara Lepchenko[29] vs Mirjana Lucic-Baroni – when Lucic is on she is devastating. this will be a battle
Eugenie Bouchard vs Tsvetana Pironkova – Bouchard has been playing great tennis recently. Should be a good one
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova vs Bojana Jovanovski – this will be a battle to the death or an easy victory for the Serb
Jie Zheng vs Vesna Dolonc – Zheng has been having good results on the clay
Tatjana Maria vs Paula Ormachaea – have not seen the young Argentine since the USO qualies last year.  Should be a good battle
Madison Keys vs Misaki Doi – Keys in straights
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Ekaterina Makarova – this was a tough one as Sveta should have great memories of her victory here 
Pauline Parmentier vs Magdalena Rybarikova – again, another tough one but the French woman will prevail
Karin Knapp vs Sloane Stephens [17] – has Sloane got her head sorted out? We will see
Jana Cepelova vs Christina McHale – Same for McHale?  is she healthy?
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor vs Julia Glushko – the young Spaniard impressed recently in Madrid, losing a tough 3 setter.  Look for her to play lights out here in Paris
Karolina Pliskova vs Garbine Muguruza – the young Spaniard has impressed everyone with her fight on hard courts. She was beaten handily by Sharapova in Rome recently.  Remains to be seen how she does against an opponent who does not have the weapons of Sharapova
Monica Niculescu vs Johanna Larsson – the wily Romanian will outfox the defender
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs Lourdes Dominguez Lino – this is a toss up as BMS has been playing great on clay, however, Lino will frustrate but BMS should be able to come through
Vania King vs Alexandra Cadantu – Vania came through qualifying and is match tough but I just don’t see her getting past Cadantu
Romina Oprandi vs Elina Svitolina – the wily veteran lost a tough 3 setter in Brussels. Look for her to make amends here
Tamira Paszek [28] vs Melanie Oudin – I am shocked that Tamira is ranked that high enough to be actually seeded. I think Oudin takes her out in straights. 

The Match that Broke my Heart on Day 1 

She served to take a 5-4 lead in the first set and got broken. She was 0-4 down in the second set tiebreak after serving for the second set on 2 occassions and having set points.  She was 5-1 down in the third set and stared defeat in the face. She eventually lost the match 5-4 in the third against Ula Radwanska, but today Venus Ebony Starr Williams showed us that when healthy, or even something remotely resembling healthy, it will take a special player to bring her down, and bring her down without a fight. 

Those of us who watched the match from beginning to end stood and applauded the shots from both ladies.  While I am still upset that she lost, I can only bow down to the younger Radwanska as she never gave up and she continued to fight. 

For her part, the veteran holder of 7 Grand Slam singles titles, too many other singles titles to mention, Olympian extraordinaire and fighter of life and tennis in general showed us why the women deserve to be paid equally with the men.  For over 3 hours she showed why she is a threat despite not being at her best. 

Venus, this fan salutes you.  My only hope is that you continue to play until I get to see you on the green lawns of Wimbledon. You did well. 

French Open – Day 1 Picks and Pans

Hello my lovelies.  How has everyone been?  Life has without a doubt got in the way of blogging.  Work, work and more work.  All well and good as it keeps me employed, but it does get in the way of my hobby. 

Anyway, the start of this tennis season has seen some fantastic performances from the women.  I am sure that everyone has read all the stats and seen all the matches so I won’t waste time recapping here.  Suffice it to say that women’s tennis has its Big Three, something that the rest of the world seems to just be catching on to, and it is a  Big Three that is not only dominant but consistently dominant as well. 
The French Open brings with it, its own story lines.  The biggest question that is being asked is whether Serena can finally add another French Open title to her collection. In my view, even though she has won everything that is to be won during this clay swing, if she falls at the final hurdle, all she has to do is come back next year.  It does not, in my honest opinion, affect her stellar play this year. 
Will Maria Sharapova actually defend a Grand Slam title? Will Azarenka complete the second leg of the calendar year Grand Slam?  Is Petra Kvitova ready to add to her Grand Slam collection?  Is Li Na ready to win another Grand Slam?  How about  Radwanska?  Is her shoulder healed enough for 2 weeks of intense competition?  How about Stosur?   She says she is fully healed from the calf injury.  Sara Errani was last year’s surprise finalist.  Can she make another run at the title? 
There are a few dark horses lurking throughout the draw.  Kerber, Ivanovic and Jankovic.  All 3 women have done well throughout the clay season and while they did not win any titles, they were definitely showing some good game in the lead up tournaments. 

Below is the Day 1 schedule for the ladies.   Spin’s Picks are in red.  Enjoy the tournament. 
Serena Williams [1] v Anna Tatishvili
Caroline Garcia [WC] v Yuliya Beygelzimer [Q]
Sorana Cirstea [26] v Kiki Bertens

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [19] v Andrea Hlavackova
Petra Cetkovska v Olga Puchkova

Galina Voskoboeva [Q] v Grace Min [Q]
Mallory Burdette v Donna Vekic
Mandy Minella v Dinah Pfizenmaier [Q]

Venus Williams [30] v Urszula Radwanska
Virginie Razzano [WC] v Claire Feuerstein [WC]

Ana Ivanovic [14] v Petra Martic
Nadia Petrova [11] v Monica Puig

Irena Pavlovic [WC] v Shelby Rogers
Sabine Lisicki [32] v Sofia Arvidsson
Ayumi Morita v Yulia Putintseva

Sara Errani [5] v Arantxa Rus