Roland Garros Day 4 Preview
Published May 29, 2012 05:28
PARIS, France - Second round action gets underway on Wednesday, with two former champions, the French No.1 and the one remaining Williams sister all on court.
Wednesday, Second Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs. Venus Williams (USA #53)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 5-2
If Agnieszka Radwanska is going to win this year's French Open, then she is going to have to do it the hard way. A treacherous draw has placed her in the same quarter as two former champions and given her the second round test that nobody wanted: Venus Williams.
Despite her ongoing health issues, taking on Williams remains one of the WTA's most daunting challenges. The 31-year-old has the power and athleticism to overwhelm just about anyone on her day, something Radwanska is only too aware of having lost five of the pair's seven encounters. Nevertheless, the Pole is No.3 seed for a reason and in their most recent meeting in the Miami quarterfinals showed that her craft can trump Williams' heavy hitting with a straight set win.
Court Suzanne Lenglen
Petra Martic (CRO #50) vs.  Marion Bartoli (FRA #8)
Head-to-head: Bartoli leads 1-0
If the burden of a nation's expectations is weighing heavily on Marion Bartoli's shoulders then it certainly didn't show on Monday. The French No.1 wasted little time getting into her stride at her home major, brushing aside qualifier Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to safely advance to the second round.
She will face sterner tests as the tournament progresses, though, starting with Petra Martic. While the Croat may be appearing in the second round in Paris for just the second time, her big serve and attacking game ensures she is always a handful. The only previous encounter came earlier this year, and was also in Paris, with Bartoli prevailing on the indoor courts of Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
Shahar Peer (ISR #55) vs.  Ana Ivanovic (SRB #14)
Head-to-head: Peer leads 3-0
Considering her status a former champion, there has not been a great deal of fanfare surrounding Ana Ivanovic in the build up to this year's French Open. And while she may not quite be in the form that took her to the title in 2008, judging by her first round destruction of Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, she is not far off.
Next up, though, is Shahar Peer, a player who has been Ivanovic's bête noire on tour, winning all three of their matches to date. Peer's excellent court coverage and counterpunching style has proven the Serb's undoing in the past and should her groundstrokes begin to misfire she could be in for another frustrating afternoon.
Around the grounds…
After her back from the brink win in the opening round, No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka will be hoping for an easier outing against qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier first up on Philippe Chatrier. Also looking to secure a third round spot are 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Samantha Stosur and Angelique Kerber.