By Jake Davies

  • Three enticing matches to watch at Day Eight of Roland Garros
  • Garbiñe Muguruza [4] vs Svetlana Kuznetsova [13] – H2H: Kuznetsova leads 1-0
  • Kei Nishikori [5] vs Richard Gasquet [9] – H2H: Gasquet leads 6-2
  • Simona Halep [6] vs Sam Stosur [21] – H2H: 3-3
PARIS, FRANCE: Richard Gasquet is the sole French man remaining in the Men’s draw for the Roland Garros title

Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules


 

Svetlana Kuznetsova [13] vs Garbine Muguruza [4] – H2H: Kuznetsova leads 1-0

Kuznetsova and Muguruza feature in the first match on Philippe Chatrier court tomorrow in the first of the Women’s Fourth Round match-ups. Kuznetsova seemingly flying under the radar this tournament, is one of only two players left in the tournament that has previously won the Roland Garros title. The other is three-time champion Serena Williams. Muguruza could prove to be a tricky customer, who has a lot to prove on one of her self-proclaimed favourite surfaces, despite posting great results on all three surfaces on the tour.

The two have played before in one sole meeting in Madrid Masters of 2015, a match that saw Muguruza have a plethora of opportunities in that particular encounter, but Kuznetsova’s experience counted for a lot and influenced a 7-5 3rd set victory for the Russian.

Consistency of ground strokes will not be a talking point in tomorrow’s match up, but the main factors will be whether one player can sustain their streaky types of games in the big moments of the match. Both have a tendency to have great peaks and troughs throughout their matches.

Muguruza has gained a great deal of momentum over the past few weeks, including a very good run in Rome. The Spaniard is a completely different player when she’s feeling confident and although this match is not set in stone, Muguruza should have enough to edge this match in three sets.

Prediction: Muguruza in three sets

Kei Nishikori [5] vs Richard Gasquet [9] – H2H: Gasquet leads 6-2

One of the more intriguing face-offs sees Japan’s finest Nishikori take on the last remaining French player left in both draws. Gasquet, an underachiever criticized by some for not being ambitious enough when battling the very best, will be expected to put on one of the matches of his career in order to achieve his first Roland Garros Quarter Final. This match up works well for the Frenchman, who incidentally has won 6 of the 8 meetings between the pair. However, Nishikori has the most relevant match wins, the most recent match wins both on the clay of Madrid and Rome this year.

Historically Gasquet has the number of Nishikori, but the fifth seed is a completely different player to the years preceding his 2014 US Open final showing, where he lost in the final to Marin Cilic. Nishikori’s self-belief and confidence in not only his tennis game, but more importantly his body are two components to the success being witnessed by the Japanese player. This renewed confidence demonstrates and earmarks why he’s a regular Top 10 feature in the Men’s Game.

Prediction: Nishikori in five sets

Simona Halep [6] vs Samantha Stosur [21] – H2H: 3-3

Two Roland Garros finalists square off in a clash of great clay court players, a match that shouldn’t be missed. Stosur’s game is built for this surface with the heavy kick serve and the top spin ground strokes that push her opponents further behind the baseline. Halep, the 2014 Roland Garros finalist, who narrowly lost in three tough sets to Maria Sharapova, also understands the dynamics of a clay court as well.

Stosur and Halep aren’t strangers at this level as they’ve met twice previous at Roland Garros in 2010 and 2011. Stosur won both meetings fairly comfortably, but in the back of her mind she’ll be aware of the one-sided beatdown she suffered at the hands of Halep in Madrid a few weeks back. There are question marks surrounding Stosur’s health, with the hindrance of a left wrist injury, but with a substantial amount of perseverance she’s managed that injury greatly during Roland Garros.

Prediction: Stosur in three sets


 

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