Roland Garros Day 4 Preview

The second round kicks off on Wednesday, with Sabine Lisicki among those gunning for the scalp of a highly-rated seed.

Published May 24, 2011 11:30

Roland Garros Day 4 Preview
Sabine Lisicki

Wednesday, Second Round

Court 1
Simona Halep (ROU #67) vs. [8] Samantha Stosur (AUS #6)
Head-To-Head: Stosur leads 1-0
Having been the top-ranked junior, and indeed a former girls' singles champion at Roland Garros in 2008, 19-year-old Halep is definitely one to watch. Her senior breakthrough came at Fès last year when she reached the final in what was just her third WTA main draw; she repeated that feat this year, suffering a mild upset to Alberta Brianti. Another thing she won't want to repeat is her loss to Stosur right here 12 months ago, in the first round. Chances are today's match will be closer than that one (the scoreline was 75 61), but after a lackluster hardcourt season, Stosur has built momentum on clay in recent weeks. Having registered two Top 5 wins at her last three tournaments - Zvonareva at Stuttgart, Schiavone at Rome - the athletic Aussie should have the confidence to pass this test, but she won't be underestimating the challenge.

[3] Vera Zvonareva (RUS #3) vs. [Q] Sabine Lisicki (GER #121)
Head-to-Head: Zvonareva leads 1-0
Lisicki's star potential is reflected in her recent selection as one of six Xperia Hot Shots - players who document aspects of their lives through a web-based video series sponsored by Sony Ericsson. It's a vote of confidence after a rugged couple of years for the 21-year-old, who reached the quarters at Wimbledon in 2009 but missed that tournament - and this one - last year with an ankle injury, at one point tumbling outside the Top 200 (having been on the verge of cracking the Top 20). Despite all this, she pushed Zvonareva to a second set tie-break at the US Open last year, and if her booming serve and forehand are firing, she could make things tricky for the Russian again. Still, Zvonareva has acquired a taste for the latter stages of the Slams, and she won't be in the mood for an upset.

Court 2
Lucie Safarova (CZE #37) vs. [17] Julia Goerges (GER #18)
Head-to-Head: Tied at 1-1
Six weeks ago Safarova was the higher-ranked of these two and, with more experience under her belt, would have been considered the favorite in this match. For sure the lanky lefty has had a very respectable season, winning four of the nine matches played against Top 20 opponents, reaching the final at Kuala Lumpur (where she held two match points against Jelena Dokic) and the quarters at Madrid. But it is Goerges who's really been making headway, busting into the Top 20 by winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and following that with a semifinal showing at Madrid. Expect a wham-bam match where the serve figures prominently, despite the surface: Safarova is third on the WTA for aces delivered so far this year (120 in 26 matches), with Goerges right behind her in fourth place (118 in 29 matches).

More to watch…
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki opens proceedings against Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak on Chatrier; on the same stage at the end of the day, defending champion Francesca Schiavone plays Vesna Dolonts. Marion Bartoli, the No.11 seed, takes on Olga Govortsova on Lenglen, while on Court 2, No.13 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova has a chance to avenge her Marbella defeat to Irina-Camelia Begu. Court 3 hosts an all-American affair featuring Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Varvara Lepchenko, followed by tenth seed Jelena Jankovic against Vera Dushevina. María José Martínez Sánchez plays Canadian No.1 Rebecca Marino on Court 5.

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