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Roland Garros Day 7 Preview

Maria Sharapova's quest for her first French Open title continues. Caroline Wozniacki and Francesca Schiavone are also in action.

Published June 01, 2012 11:33

Roland Garros Day 7 Preview
Maria Sharapova

PARIS, France - Three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and former French Open titlist Francesca Schiavone will be among those on court Saturday who are trying to avoid the upset bug that bit pre-tournament contenders Agnieszka Radwanska and Serena Williams this week at Roland Garros.

Saturday, Third Round

Court Philippe Chatrier
[28] Peng Shuai (CHN #30) vs. [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS #2)
Head-to-head:
Sharapova leads 3-1
While a couple of her potential roadblocks to the title like Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska have fallen to the wayside, Maria Sharapova is rolling so far this fortnight. Her two games surrendered is the fewest of anyone in the field through two rounds. Once uncomfortable on clay, she is anything but these days, having compiled a 13-1 record on the dirt in 2012. Though she will have the slight disadvantage of playing two days in a row because of darkness pushing her second round match to Friday, her matches have been so one-sided that it should hardly be a factor. Peng Shuai did get the best of her once, at Beijing in 2009, but Sharapova was victorious in each of their other three clashes - all on different surfaces. Off to a slow start this year, Peng's first and second round triumphs gave her consecutive wins for the second time in 2012.

Court Suzanne Lenglen
[23] Kaia Kanepi (EST #23) vs. [9] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #9)
Head-to-head:
Wozniacki leads 3-1
Just 3-3 during the European clay court swing coming into Roland Garros, Caroline Wozniacki has quietly cruised through her first two rounds, dropping just six games combined. Her competition gets stiffer now, though, as Kaia Kanepi is a two-time titlist in 2012, including on the clay of Estoril. And she has played well here before, notching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal showing at this event in 2008. The duo has an interesting history against each other, with Wozniacki winning three of four and three of the four going three sets.

Court 1
Varvara Lepchenko (USA #63) vs. [14] Francesca Schiavone (ITA #12)
Head-to-head: 1-1
Before last week, Francesca Schiavone had suffered first or second round defeats in 10 straight events, but she suddenly turned her year around in Strasbourg by rolling to the title without dropping a set. The 2010 French Open champ and 2011 runner-up extended her win streak to seven matches with victories in the first two rounds here. Varvara Lepchenko made the third round of a major for the first time by virtue of a dramatic second round win over former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic that lasted over three hours. She also should get a boost of confidence in knowing she edged Schiavone just last month in Madrid en route to a quarterfinal showing - tied for her best career result.

"Beating Francesca in Madrid was one of the toughest matches I've had. I had to recover for three days after that," Lepchenko said. "Having that experience of beating top players helped me out in today's match. I believed in myself, and I believed I could do it. I'm looking forward to playing Francesca again."

Also on court... Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova squares off with Nina Bratchikova and Li Na continues her Roland Garros title defense by taking on rising American Christina McHale.

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