By Jake Davies

  • Garbiñe Muguruza [3] vs Maria Sharapova [28]
  • Simona Halep [1] vs Angelique Kerber [12]
  • Rafael Nadal [1] vs Diego Schwartzman [11]
PARIS, FRANCE – On the last of the quarter-final matches at Roland Garros 2018, two former French Open champions Garbiñe Muguruza and Maria Sharapova headline our matches to watch on Day 11.

 

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Garbiñe Muguruza [3] vs Maria Sharapova [28] | H2H: Sharapova leads 3-0

The first of our quarter-final matches to watch on Day 11 of Roland Garros includes two former champions of the event as the 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza tries to topple the two-time winner Maria Sharapova.

After a poor start to her return from a doping suspension, Sharapova has really put herself back into the Grand Slam picture. The Russian started the tournament under heaps of pressure as she stared at a break deficit in the third set to Richel Hogenkamp, but has since absolutely dominated the rest of the field, beating Karolina Pliskova with the loss of just three games and then progressing to the quarter-final after Serena Williams withdrew with a right arm injury minutes before their blockbuster fourth round match.

Garbine Muguruza in the third round of Roland Garros, 2018

Garbine Muguruza in the third round of Roland Garros, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Muguruza has equally been impressive this tournament after starting her tournament with a flawless performance against Svetlana Kuznetsova and is yet to drop a set this tournament, showing some of the form that guided her towards her maiden Grand Slam title two years ago. Muguruza also got a bit of luck in the fourth round as her opponent Lesia Tsurenko suffered a left hamstring problem just two games into their match and was forced to retire.

Both players should be fresh and at their peak, which sets up this match very nicely. Sharapova owns this head-to-head, winning all three of their previous matches, but Muguruza will be looking to rely on her big game mentality to try to beat tennis’ most intense competitor in Sharapova.

Prediction: Sharapova in three sets

 

READ MORE | Roland Garros 2018 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

Roland Garros 2018 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

 

Simona Halep [1] vs Angelique Kerber [12] | H2H: Tied at 5-5

Simona Halep in the fourth round of Roland Garros, 2018

Simona Halep in the fourth round of Roland Garros, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

In the last of the Roland Garros quarter-finals on the women’s side, World No.1 Simona Halep will have a tough task in front of her as she plays Angelique Kerber for a spot in the final four of the event. Halep’s form this tournament has been fantastic. She started off shaky in her first match against Alison Riske, but has since got better and better, while Kerber has yet to lose a set, which is stunning considering clay is her least favourite surface.

The interesting thing will be how Halep navigates her way through beating a top player in the latter stages of a tournament, because this is where the tournament gets serious. There are no simple matches at this point. Everyone knows that Halep has the game to go all the way this year, but she has to put together a complete mental performance to claim her maiden Grand Slam title. Kerber is going to be a tough challenger, who will make Halep earn her win as we saw in the semi-final of the Australian Open earlier this year, but I think Halep understands what to do and what not to do on a clay court that bit better.

Prediction: Halep in three sets.

 

READ MORE | Roland Garros 2018 | Halep: ‘Not going to fight my nerves’ | Cruises into quarter-finals to face Kerber

Roland Garros 2018 | Halep: ‘Not going to fight my nerves’ | Cruises into quarter-finals to face Kerber

Rafael Nadal [1] vs Diego Schwartzman [11] | H2H: Nadal leads 5-0

Rafael Nadal in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018

Rafael Nadal in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018 | (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The World No.1 Rafael Nadal has had some rather questionable moments on his way to another Roland-Garros quarter-final. He is winning matches in straight-sets, but dropping the ball short on the forehand side way too much and yet is still looking much better than the rest of the field. In the quarter-final he faces the No.11 seed Diego Schwartzman. Schwartzman had a miserable time of it in the buildup to the clay court swing, but has now made the last eight of a major for the first time.

Nadal is a heavy favourite in this match. Schwartzman is a tireless worker from the baseline, but he suffers a lot in this match-up because of how Nadal can strike heavy top-spin high up on the smaller man’s two-handed backhand, which prevents the Argentinian from being aggressive with that shot. Schwartzman will make Nadal work hard for his points, but Nadal should come through in this one.

Prediction: Nadal in straight sets

 

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