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Roland Garros Day 11 Preview

The semifinal line-up will be confirmed on Wednesday as Kaia Kanepi meets Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova faces Yaroslava Shvedova.

Published June 05, 2012 07:50

Roland Garros Day 11 Preview
Kaia Kanepi

PARIS, France - The identities of the final two semifinalists at Roland Garros will be confirmed on Wednesday, as Maria Sharapova takes on Kaia Kanepi and Petra Kvitova locks horns with Yaroslava Shvedova.

Wednesday, Quarterfinals

Court Philippe Chatrier
[23] Kaia Kanepi (EST #23) vs. [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS #2)
Head-to-head:
first meeting
If Maria Sharapova wanted a test before reaching the business end of the French Open, then she certainly got one on Sunday, defeating an inspired Klara Zakopalova over three sets of blistering baseline hitting. The Russian is likely to face more of the same in the last eight when she takes on another of the WTA's most ferocious ball strikers, Kaia Kanepi.

Cast in the role of underdog, Kanepi flourished against Caroline Wozniacki in the third round and she will need to replicate the barrage of winners from the first and third sets of that match if she is to stand any chance against Sharapova.

In terms of experience, Sharapova holds the considerable edge, having appeared in 16 Grand Slam quarterfinals to Kanepi's three. However, her only three career defeats at this stage have all come in Paris and if the Estonian can find her range on both serve and groundstrokes she is more than capable of making it four.

Court Suzanne Lenglen
[Q] Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ #142) vs. [4] Petra Kvitova (CZE #4)
Head-to-head:
first meeting
Since the Roland Garros draw was expanded to 128 in 1983, no player outside the Top 100 has reached the semifinals. Can Yaroslava Shvedova change this on Wednesday? Well, to do so she will need to conjure up an upset to rival her defeat of defending champion Li Na in the fourth round, because standing on the other side of the next will be World No.4 Petra Kvitova.

With ferocious groundstrokes off either wing, Kvitova possesses weapons to trouble any player on any surface. However, having never previously been beyond the fourth round, the Czech is breaking new ground in Paris and is perhaps at her most vulnerable on a slower surface such as clay.

Not that there was much evidence of this in the last round; Kvitova blasted Varvara Lepchenko off the court in exactly an hour. Shvedova, though, is likely to present a more complex challenge. An accomplished doubles player, the Kazakh is as comfortable at the net as she is trading from the baseline, and if she swings as freely as she did against Li, another shock is not beyond her.

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

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