Roland Garros Day 6 Preview
Published May 31, 2012 10:48
PARIS, France - Third round matches in the top half of the draw get underway on Friday, with high-flying Agnieszka Radwanska's clash against former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova the pick of the action.
Friday, Third Round
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs.  Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #28)
Head-to-head: Kuznetsova leads 9-3
After seeing off dangerous floater Venus Williams in the second round, Agnieszka Radwanska's next encounter on her treacherous path to the final is 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Both players are yet to drop a set in Paris, with the Pole particularly impressive against Williams, exhibiting her full repertoire of shots in a 62 63 win.
She will need a similarly classy display to see off Kuznetsova. At her very best, the Russian has one of the most complete games in women's tennis, marrying crisp ballstriking off either wing with excellent movement. Having won the last five meetings between the two, Kuznetsova also brings a psychological edge into the matchup, making her an extremely live underdog.
Court Suzanne Lenglen
 Sara Errani (ITA #24) vs.  Ana Ivanovic (SRB #14)
Head-to-head: Ivanovic leads 2-0
This year has certainly been one to remember for Sara Errani. While Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova have been grabbing the headlines, the Italian has quietly gone about the business of winning matches. Lots of matches. In fact, Errani arrived at the French Open with more clay court victories to her name in 2012 than any other thanks to title runs in Acapulco, Barcelona and Budapest.
Ana Ivanovic, her third round opponent, has also been making progress in recent months. While the Serb may not have the silverware to show for her efforts, she has undoubtedly been playing some of her best tennis since capturing the title here in 2008. This resurgence has continued at Roland Garros and the two sets of clay court excellence produced against Shahar Peer in the second round suggest she has just the game plan to dissect a super-fit defensive maestro like Errani.
 Nadia Petrova (RUS #29) vs.  Samantha Stosur (AUS #6)
Head-to-head: Petrova leads 5-2
Samantha Stosur and Nadia Petrova have history. The two have played seven times since 2004, and while the first five were fairly humdrum affairs, the last two have been bona fide classics; Stosur winning a three-hour marathon at last year's US Open, before Petrova gained a modicum of revenge by prevailing in another three-set classic a few months back at Indian Wells.
And there is every chance of more of the same on Friday. While Stosur's status as No.6 seed and the 2010 French Open runner-up sees her start as favorite, Petrova has the big serve, heavy groundstrokes and clay court know-how - she is a two-time semifinalist here - to test her.
Around the grounds…
After failing to make it on court on Thursday, No.2 seed Maria Sharapova will finally play her second round match with Ayumi Morita on Friday, while fellow title rivals Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber take on Aleksandra Wozniak and Flavia Pennetta respectively.
For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.