Roland Garros 2017 Day 8 – Three to See

 

By Jake Davies

  • Novak Djokovic [2] vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas [19]
  • Garbiñe Muguruza [4] vs Kristina Mladenovic [13]
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova [8] vs Caroline Wozniacki [11]
PARIS, FRANCE – Champions galore take centre stage today in our Roland Garros 2017 Day Eight Three-to-See.

 

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Novak Djokovic [2] vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas [19] H2H: Djokovic leads 3-0

Novak Djokovics new partnership with eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi has started positively. The World No.2 would have expected to beat Diego Schwartzman with greater comfort, but it was of utmost importance to get through the first week with three wins and that is exactly what he got.

The journey to a second Roland Garros title does not get any easier as Albert Ramos-Vinolas awaits in Round Four. One could argue that the Spaniard is one of the most improved players on tour in 2017 and that shows having claimed his career-high ranking this season. He is one of the consistently performing clay courters of this season, but the question rises as to whether he can raise his game even greater to beat the World No.2 in a Best-of-five format. Last year, the left-handed Ramos-Vinolas got his career win at a major by beating No.9 Milos Raonic, but can he elevate his level beyond that? It is a tough ask.

Prediction: Djokovic in five sets.

 

Garbiñe Muguruza [4] vs Kristina Mladenovic [13] H2H: Mladenovic leads 1-0

From one reigning Roland Garros champion to another, Garbiñe Muguruza has faced a lot of adversity this week and rallied her way through matches she perhaps would not have done in the latter parts of the 2016 season. She is showing signs of the form that took her to a first major twelve months ago, but French No.1 Kristina Mladenovic is one of the in-form players of the season.

I feel that Mladenovic will embrace her moment in this match. She showed no signs of the back injury that had been bothering her in the first round match and that sets up this match nicely. The key to this match will be whether Mladenovic can supply the variation to prevent Muguruza from finding her rhythm and hitting the cover off the ball with regularity. Mladenovic has all the assets to pull off an upset win in front of her home crowd.

Prediction: Mladenovic in three sets.

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova [8] vs Caroline Wozniacki [11] H2H: Wozniacki leads 7-6

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki meet for the fourteenth time and for the first time at Roland-Garros. Kuznetsova has really gone the scenic route through her draw, beating Christina McHale, Oceane Dodin and Zhang Shuai, while Wozniacki’s third round match against Catherine Bellis ran through two days of tennis, because of darkness.

The real key battle in this match will see Kuznetsova take advantage of the significantly weaker wing of Wozniacki. Can the Russian consistently find that achilles heel of the Dane without being predictable. She has to pick and choose her moments wisely as we saw in the match between Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro, where Murray zoned in on the weaker backhand then finished the point in the open court on the forehand side.

Wozniacki will try to frustrate Kuznetsova and hustle from the back of the court, but the quality of Wozniacki’s backhand should not be overlooked as it is one of the more technically-gifted backhands on the WTA.

Prediction: Kuznetsova in three sets

 

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