FRENCH OPEN DAY 5 PREVIEW

by Karen 

Court
Player A
Player B
Spin’s Pick
Chartrier
Jankovic
Nara
Jankovic
Svitolina
Ivanovic
Ivanovic
Lenglen
Riske
Mladenovic
Mladenovic
Kvitova
Erakovic
Kvitova
Court 1
Stephens
Hercog
Stephens
Watson
Halep
Halep
Court 2
Giorgi
Kuznetsova
Giorgi
Nicolescu
Ormachea
Nicolescu
Pfizenmaier
Errani
Errani
Court 3
Pereria
Cirstea
Cirstea
Court 4
Torro-Flor
Rybarikova
Torro-Flor
Court 5
Bertens
Pavlyuchenchova
Pavlyuchenchova
Vandeweghe
Makarova
Makarova
Court 6
Flipkens
Glushko
Flipkens
Safarova
Dellacqua
Safarova
Court 7
Parmentier
Shvedova
Parmentier
Petkovic
Voegele
Petkovic
Spin’s Match to Watch
With the loss of the No. 2 seed from this side of the draw, the highest remaining seed is No. 4 Simona Halep who will take on Heather Watson of Great Britain.  This however is not the Spin’s pick for match to watch.  I think the match between Jankovic and Nara will as they say in tennis parlance be epic.  Jankovic struggled through her match against Sharon Fischman of Canada in round 1 and while she did win the match going away, she has not shown good form as of yet.  Nara has always battled Jankovic tough as she is a steady competitor.  The other match that could be a fierce match is that of Ivanovoic going up against Svitolina.
Odds and Ends
With the loss of Serena Williams from the top half of the draw on Day 4, I started to think about Serena and her failures at the Majors this year.  In both instances where Serena lost she was simply outhit by her opponents.  While many will talk about the tactics employed by her opponents, that is, hitting the ball deep down the middle of the court, I think what I have observed is that Serena seems a step slow in relation to her court coverage.  While she has always been fast around the court, I think sometimes we forget that she is 32 years old.  Inasmuch as people talk about Federer and how he has become a step slow in terms of his game, for whatever reason, no one seems to mention the same issues with Serena.
I also watched Venus’ match this morning and I got the same sense that she was not as quick onto the ball as she used to be.  A lot of times both Sisters were left standing in the middle of the court watching the ball sail by.  It could be that age is finally catching up with the Sisters or it could be that they were both having off days.  However, while Serena recovered in her match against Ivanovic in Rome this year, during the second set of that match she seemed unable to withstand the firepower coming off the racquet of Ivanovic in much the same way she seemed unable to withstand the firepower coming off Muguruza’s racquet.
What surprises me is that I don’t hear commentators mentioning these things.  They are mostly focusing on the tactics being displayed by opponents rather than commenting on how Serena is reacting to the play on court.
I do recall last year during Serna’s wonderful season that she seemed a bit defensive in the way she was playing.  She was not playing attacking tennis as we know she is capable of, and one has to wonder whether in trying to build consistency into her game she has allowed the aggressive game style which was a hallmark of her game to be tempered.  If so, I think many of us, this writer included would prefer the aggressive inconsistent game style that won matches, rather than this tepid consistent style that is allowing opponents overpower and outplay her. 

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