Roland Garros Day 5 Preview
Published May 25, 2011 08:38
Thursday, Second Round
 Andrea Petkovic (GER #12) vs. Lucie Hradecka (CZE #45)
Head-to-Head: Hradecka leads 3-0
Having survived a slugfest with dangerous teenager Bojana Jovanovski in the first round, Petkovic finds herself faced with another stern test. She probably shouldn't be too perturbed by her record against her Czech opponent: they've never met on clay, and the last meeting was over a year ago in Fed Cup play, when Petkovic was still feeling the pressure of national representation acutely. At the same time, Hradecka, with her powerful two-fisted strokes off both sides, can only be buoyed by the knowledge she has beaten the fast-rising German repeatedly. So, it will be interesting to see how she steps up to this particular challenge, given she's the one, as they say, with 'nothing to lose'.
 Kaia Kanepi (EST #16) vs. [Q] Heather Watson (GBR #117)
Head-to-Head: First meeting
Props to young Watson for busting her way through qualifying and then becoming the first Brit in 17 years to win a round at Roland Garros. Can she keep it up? On the face of it, Kanepi should have too much firepower, but the 26-year-old - a quarterfinalist here three years ago - has had a curious season. Though trading at a career-high ranking, her first round win here was her first WTA main draw victory since Indian Wells; she won a couple of matches in Brussels qualifying, but fell first round there and at Rome and Madrid. If confidence is an issue, Watson might be presented with the necessary window of opportunity. Already assured of her Top 100 debut, a scalp like Kanepi's would certainly be icing on the cake.
Sorana Cirstea (ROU #99) vs.  Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU #35)
Head-to-Head: Cirstea leads 2-0
Amazingly, this is the first WTA meeting of these two, both of Cirstea's wins coming at the ITF level way back in 2007. Cirstea came to notice right here two years ago when she burst through to the quarterfinals, upsetting Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic along the way. Since then, though, she's been leapfrogged by her slightly older compatriot, who turns 22 next week. Although her clay court season has been a bit flat - the demise of the Warsaw Open, where she would have been the two-time defending champion, possibly didn't help - Dulgheru has emerged the more consistent campaigner. That steadiness should see her through today, although Cirstea won an ITF event earlier in the month, and the Xperia Hot Shot is no doubt keen to get her trajectory back.
More to watch...
Kim Clijsters, the No.2 seed, plays her second round match on Chatrier against former top junior Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands. Seventh seed Maria Sharapova takes to the main stage too, against French wildcard Caroline Garcia. China's Zheng Jie and Czech lefty Petra Kvitova, the No.9 seed, do battle on Court 1, while India's Sania Mirza faces No.12 seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Court 2. Following her first round upset of Dominika Cibulkova, Vania King tackles British No.1 Elena Baltacha on Court 6.