Roland Garros Day 7 Preview

Second week berths beckon at Roland Garros on Saturday, as third round singles matches wrap up.

Published May 27, 2011 11:49

Roland Garros Day 7 Preview
Agnieszka Radwanska
Saturday, Third Round

[21] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL #22) vs. [12] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #13)
Head-to-Head: Wickmayer leads 1-0
Now 22, Radwanska is one of nine former junior champions (2006) in this year's main draw, and along with Kaia Kanepi the only one left standing. True to form she's been moving quietly through the field without too much fuss, so it's hard to tell whether this queen of consistency - playing her 20th consecutive Grand Slam main draw, she has reached the quarters four times and the fourth round six times - is ready to bust through with a deeper run. Wickmayer sends down a considerably heavier ball than the crafty Pole, and so the fast balls may play to the 21-year-old Belgian's favor. Their previous encounter was a Fed Cup nail-biter in February last year; it won't be a surprise if this match is just as grueling, with a possible fourth round meeting with Sharapova the prize.

[25] Maria Kirilenko (RUS #27) vs. Arantxa Rus (NED #114)
Head-to-Head: First meeting
While Kim Clijsters was a shadow of her usual self against Rus on Thursday, the 20-year-old Dutch lefty still deserves credit for holding her side of the bargain together. Is it the watershed moment the former junior No.1 and 2008 Australian Open girls' champion has been waiting for, after a testing transition to the adult ranks? How she follows up today should provide some kind of guide, because Kirilenko won't blow her off the court, but is nonetheless a classy campaigner who reached the fourth round here last year, as well as the quarters of the Australian Open. The stakes are particularly high given this section of the draw is perhaps the most open of a very open field, with the winner of this match to face either Petkovic or Gajdosova for a place in the quarters.

Vania King (USA #115) vs. [9] Petra Kvitova (CZE #9)
Head-to-Head: First meeting
Recent Top 10 arrival Kvitova boasts some of the most enviable stats on the WTA this year: her three titles - Madrid, most notable - are second only to Wozniacki's four; she is 3-0 against Top 5 opponents; and, entering Roland Garros, boasted the best winning percentage of any player this season (.862, 25-4). Can King withstand the onslaught from the Czech lefty? On the face of it, it seems unlikely, but the two-time Grand Slam doubles champion has clearly learnt how to compete at the majors - this is already her best singles result of the year, equaling her previous best result at a Slam - and, well, upsets are in the air. Still, it's a very big ask. If she can somehow pull it off, she'll be the first player to beat Kvitova in a tour-level clay court match this season.

More to watch…
Fourth seed Victoria Azarenka is first up on Chatrier against Italy's Roberta Vinci, the No.30 seed. Seventh seed Maria Sharapova closes play on the main stage against Chan Yung-Jan. China's Li Na, the No.6 seed, plays Sorana Cirstea on Lenglen, while Andrea Petkovic and Jarmila Gajdosova, seeded No.15 and No.24 respectively, face off on Court 1.

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