By Ros Satar, at Roland Garros

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas [6] v Stan Wawrinka [24] | First meeting
  • Sloane Stephens [7] v Garbiñe Muguruza [19] | Tied at 1-1
  • Marketa Vondrousova v Anastasija Sevastova [12] | First meeting
PARIS, FRANCE – The fourth-round beckons as we officially start the second week of Roland Garros – and we pick our best three matches on the schedule.

 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas [6] v Stan Wawrinka [24] | First meeting

At least both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Stan Wawrinka had to come back to finish their matches in the bright sunshine of a Parisian Saturday, so they are both in the same boat when the take to the court on Sunday for their fourth-round encounter.

We will be in for another battle of the single-handed backhands, but while Tsitsipas looked at times a little fatigued and distracted in his match, Wawrinka fed off the energy of the smaller crowd in Court No. 1.

We would still have to give the edge to Wawrinka in terms of the power he can generate off that backhand, and each have an aggressive baseline game, and while Wawrinka has been steadily working his way back up the rankings after having had knee surgery, Tsitsipas has struggled at time with fatigue and at times looked that it was a challenge to even move.

Wawrinka noted that Tsitsipas is a talented young player coming up, but the Swiss has had the experience of being disregarded as an opponent, and then surprising all around. Add to that what looked like a hyper-extension of Tsitsipas’ knee in his match – perhaps this won’t be his year.

Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in four sets

 

Sloane Stephens [7] v Garbiñe Muguruza [19] | Tied at 1-1

Garbine Muguruza in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France

Garbine Muguruza in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

This has the makings of being an incredibly tough pick. Watching the first set of Garbiñe Muguruza, it was easy to dispel the former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champions chances as all but gone. She was being made to look ordinary by Taylor Townsend and had slipped back down the rankings, but somehow solved the puzzle and since then has looked incredibly solid indeed.

Sloane Stephens might give off the air that she has no cares in the world, certainly not about her results, but she does care, and she has been setting down her markers very emphatically, including taking a bit of a scenic route in round three against Polona Hercog. She weathered that storm, and the pair are so evenly matched this is the match of the day, and the hardest one to call.

Muguruza can attack, defend and has an easy power to all her shots given her height. But her doubles prowess has also made her a lot more versatile than you would generally give a tall player credit for.

For Stephens it is all about her movement and her athleticism. She will come in and deliver the killer shot at the net, but equally can dictate quite effectively from the back of the court too, and can absorb pace coming at her and send it back, with a little bit of interest.

Perhaps it is Stephens that has delivered the most consistency over the past few months, and probably has a slight edge on Muguruza, but the former champion will make this a match to be earned.

Prediction: Muguruza in three sets.

 

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Marketa Vondrousova v Anastasija Sevastova [12] | First meeting

Marketa Vondrousova in the third round of Roland Garros 2019, France

Marketa Vondrousova in the third round of Roland Garros 2019, France | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

One of the teens we have talked about in Tournament in a Tea-Break Marketa Vondrousova will face Anastasija Sevastova, who probably quite rightly feels pretty bullet-proof after saving five match-points against Elise Mertens in the previous round.

The Latvian has achieved her best ever performance in Roland Garros just by reaching the fourth round but faces a player that is ranked No. 1 on the tour for percentage of return games won (45.7%) and her stats in Roland Garros alone are 60%.

Sevastova is an aggressive baseliner and she wears her heart on her sleeve so her matches can be quite intense. Even when she is winning she looks as though the world is about to cave in on her!

Meanwhile that state of vexation could be heightened against the decent ball-striking of Vondrousova, who also has a deftness to her game – she drop-shots with the best of them and can drive players crazy with her angles.

Prediction: Vondrousova in three sets.

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