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Roland Garros Day 5 Preview

The second round at Roland Garros draws to a close on Thursday, with Li Na, Francesca Schiavone and Julia Goerges all in action.

Published May 30, 2012 10:57

Roland Garros Day 5 Preview
Li Na

PARIS, France - The second round at Roland Garros draws to a close on Thursday, with Li Na, Francesca Schiavone and Julia Goerges all in action.

Thursday, Second Round

Court Suzanne Lenglen
[7] Li Na (CHN #7) vs. Stéphanie Foretz Gacon (FRA #86)
Head-to-head:
first meeting
The Roland Garros faithful have already been treated to one stirring upset from a French underdog this week. Will they witness another on Day 5? Well, going by Li Na's first round destruction of former French Open quarterfinalist Sorana Cirstea, then the answer is probably no.

Li dropped just three games in swatting aside Cirstea, carrying on the form that took her within a whisker of the Rome title a few weeks ago. Yet as formidable as the defending champion looked, her next opponent, Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, knows there are gaps in the armor; the Frenchwoman's best bet may be to mix up her game to try and draw errors from Li's heavy groundstrokes, which do have the tendency to go off the boil when starved of rhythm.

Court 1
[14] Francesca Schiavone (ITA #12) vs. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL #41)
Head-to-head:
Schiavone leads 4-0
At 31, Francesca Schiavone may be the oldest player left in the draw, but she is certainly showing no signs of slowing down. And after her near-flawless title run in Strasbourg last week, the 2010 champion here looks good for another extended stay in the French capital.

But before she can start plotting a path to the final, Schiavone must first overcome the mercurial Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round. The Bulgarian is an agile, aggressive player, with a compact backhand and an oft-unorthodox forehand, and not adverse to the occasional upset. Whether she has the nous to cause one against Schiavone, whom she has failed to defeat in four attempts, though, remains to be seen.

Court 2
[Q] Heather Watson (GBR #110) vs. [26] Julia Goerges (GER #27)
Head-to-head:
first meeting
As a former French Open junior runner-up, Heather Watson is no clay court novice. A fact she has backed up since arriving in Paris by sailing through three rounds of qualifying and her first main draw match without dropping a set.

She will do well to maintain this unblemished record, though, because next up is the No.26 seed Julia Goerges. Unlike Watson's previous four opponents, Georges has the artillery off both wings to pierce the Brit's near-watertight defenses. However, her high-risk game also has the potential to go awry and if Watson can continue to serve well - she has hit 18 aces in her four matches so far - the upset is not beyond her.

Around the grounds…
No.2 seed Maria Sharapova continues her quest for the only Grand Slam to elude her by taking on Ayumi Morita, while other big names in action include Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Kirilenko.

For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.

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