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Roland Garros Day 8 Preview

Sloane Stephens looks to continue her dream run at the French Open, but the competition gets stiffer in the form of Samantha Stosur.

Published June 02, 2012 09:02

Roland Garros Day 8 Preview
Sloane Stephens

PARIS, France - An American teen looking to continue her superb French Open run and the World No.1 seeking to extend her Grand Slam winning streak to 11 matches are among the storylines as fourth round play gets underway.

Sunday, Fourth Round

Court Philippe Chatrier
Sloane Stephens (USA #70) vs. [6] Samantha Stosur (AUS #6)
Head-to-head:
0-0
Sloane Stephens has been on quite a ride this fortnight, beating Ekaterina Makarova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mathilde Johansson in straight sets en route to her first career Grand Slam fourth round. She will be going for another personal best in her next match as she looks to claim her first Top 10 victim. So far, her best result in terms of ranking was a win in Strasbourg last week over No.17 Maria Kirilenko, which came by virtue of retirement. Getting that notable victory over Samantha Stosur will be no easy feat for the second-highest-ranked teen on the WTA. A runner-up here in 2010 and semifinalist in 2009, the Australian also has not dropped a set this fortnight and was especially impressive in her third round defeat of Nadia Petrova.

"It's a great feeling to get to the weekend. I'm very pleased with the three matches that I've played. There are always things you want to try to improve, but today was very solid," Stosur said of her triumph over Petrova. "I knew what I wanted to do. I stuck to the plan and was able to execute it very well. I couldn't really ask too much more. Hopefully, it will set me up for the next one."

[21] Sara Errani (ITA #24) vs. [26] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #28)
Head-to-head:
Kuznetsova leads 5-0
Svetlana Kuznetsova came into this event having lost eight of her previous 11 matches, but this fortnight has rediscovered the form that took her to two Grand Slam titles, including the 2009 French Open. She looked especially dominant in her 61 62 rout of World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round on Friday. Before that, her last win over a Top 3 player was over then World No.1 Dinara Safina in that 2009 Roland Garros final. She is undefeated against fourth round foe Sara Errani, though none of the matches have occurred on clay, the Italian's favorite surface on which she has won four of her five career titles. In fact, Errani had a 16-match clay winning streak going last month and is 21-3 on the dirt this season. She has already been extended to three sets twice this event, including in a thrilling victory over former World No.1 and 2008 French Open titlist Ana Ivanovic in the third round.

Court Suzanne Lenglen
[1] Victoria Azarenka (BLR #1) vs. [15] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK #16)
Head-to-head:
Azarenka leads 7-1
After a near first round exit at the hands of Alberta Brianti, World No.1 and reigning Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka cleaned up her game in the next two rounds. But now she will have to face a player who is in as good a form as any. Dominika Cibulkova has dropped just eight games in three matches, second-fewest amount in the draw behind Maria Sharapova's five. On top of that, her best career Grand Slam outing was a semifinal showing here in 2009. Although Azarenka has lost only once in eight meetings with Cibulkova, five straight have gone three sets, including their most recent encounter in the fourth round of Miami in which Azarenka rallied from a 61 40 deficit.

Also on court... No.10 seed Angelique Kerber takes on Petra Martic, who not only will be playing in her first fourth round at a major, but earlier this week scored her first career Top 10 win over World No.8 Marion Bartoli.

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