Halep Out Of The French Open; Sharapova, Stosur Advance to Third Round Showdown
by Staff | May 27th, 2015, 5:36 pm
  • 11 Comments

For the second straight day the French Open saw one of its 2014 women’s semifinalist get bounced. Following Eugnie Bouchard’s exit was No. 3 seed and defending runner-up Simona Halep who lost to 33-year-old comeback story Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 7-5, 6-1 in the second round.

“It’s incredible,” Lucic-Baroni said. “Simona is such a great champion, and I respect her so much, and to play this well on such a big stadium makes me so happy.

“She’s such a great champion so I knew if I wanted to win I had to go for my shots, and that’s my game anyway, so I just tried to keep going for it and tried to keep my unforced errors down, as well.

“I’m so proud of myself – it’s such a huge win for me, it’s just amazing!”

Halep had made the finals of the French Open last year losing a tight match with Maria Sharapova, but this spring after her Indian Wells title the Romanian has barely made any noise of late.

“She played well,” Halep said. “I couldn’t play my best today, but she started to hit the ball very strong at the beginning of the match, and she was better than me today. I just have to go forward.”

With Halep out, her quarter is wide open with 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic the slight favorite after the Serb came back to beat Misaki Doi.

Also today. Maria Sharapova eased past fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko to win her 7th straight match. She’ll now meet Sam Stosur in a rematch of their 3-set 2014 fourth round French Open match.

“She has a very heavy ball, and I think on clay specifically it just really penetrates through the court,” Sharapova said of Stosur who she leads 14-2. “The spin she’s able to create from her forehand and her serve, she has one of the best kick serves in the game. She’s really able to put that power into it and kick. She also slices a lot. There are a lot of untraditional things she does, but I guess I enjoy the challenge of playing her.

“I have a pretty good record against her. I enjoy our matches. I hope I can continue that.”

Sharapova has won 22 of her last 23 matches in Paris including two titles. Stosur is a former finalist.

“Last year was very close, and all of a sudden it was very far away,” said Stosur. “That’s certainly a position I’d like to try to get in again, and hopefully this time if I do get in a position, it won’t fall away so quickly. But I feel like I’m playing well. I’ve had a good lead-up, and now I’ve played another really good match here, and hopefully it’s all going to help me going into this next one.”

Angelique Kerber, Alize Cornet and Carla Saurez Navarro were also winners.

Tomorrow, Serena Williams is back along with Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova.


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11 Comments for Halep Out Of The French Open; Sharapova, Stosur Advance to Third Round Showdown

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its quite incredible: top ten ladies just come and go, and Maria and Serena just keep plugging along into 2nd weeks, year in and year out. Last year, I was convinced that Halep and Bouchard would be Real Deal Slam challengers this year. I also thought Wozniacki would be back for a couple more years near the top.

Serena, it seems to me, started her career about two ( or 1 and a half) tennis generations before Maria (the Capriatti/ Venus/ Hingis generation, and the Henin/ CLijster generation). But then, through injury after injury, they both played through the Big Babe years (safina), the defensive midget years (Jancovic, Wozniacki) and here they still are.

I never liked Sharapova’s personality, but to stay as a top player after basically losing her serve to shoulder surgery, she is a warrior. And then you look at Serena’s record against her, and you have to say, she could be the best big match player ever.


jane Says:

anyone watch serena? looks like it was a tough one. also i see woz is out.


Rich Says:

Vagabond:

You may be too young to remember the dominant Monica Seles from 91-93, when she steamrolled the entire field, including Frau Graf, whom herself was a huge big match player.

Also, from 2003 to 2007, in five Grand Slam matchups, Serena lost four times to Justine Henin, who had Serena’s number (Henin had more speed and was a superior volleyer, plus Serena, because she barely contemplates tactics, did not take advantage of Henin’s propensity to serve in the ad court 100% of the time down the T to Serena’s forehand).

The New York Times touched on Serena’s disinterest in tactics in a 05/26/15 article entitled “Out of the Loop at the French Open.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/sports/tennis/out-of-the-loop-at-the-french-open-and-liking-it-that-way.html?_r=0

Part of the article:

“…..That might seem like a tactical disadvantage, but (Sloane) is in fine company with (Serena) Williams, a 19-time Grand Slam singles champion.

“If I figure out who I’m going to play in the first round, then I focus my game too much without even trying,” Williams said. “I’m like, Oh, her forehand is bigger, or her backhand is bigger. And I will just hit every shot there. Next thing you know, in Round 5 or Round 3, I’m like, I practiced too much to cater to that one person. I feel like, for me, I can play anyone as long as I’m focused on myself, and I just go for that.”

The result is an unusual routine in which her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, will scout an opponent but mention nothing to Williams about her identity or the right tactics until about 30 minutes before the match.”


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rich, I remember Seles well. I’ve been following tennis since mid-80′s. And dig it: Serena started her career playing Seles, Graf, Vicario. Isn’t that incredible?

I never bought the “Henin has Williams number” myth. Williams led the rivalry 8-6. The only thing you can say Henin was superior at was clay: Henin led 4-1. Outside clay, Williams led 7-2!

Henin won 3 matches in a row in 2007 (including her ONLY 2 off clay). In other words, outside of 2007, Henin never beat Williams off clay. And remember, Williams missed half of 2006 with injuries and depression, and fell outside the top 100.

So when you talk about Henin “having Serena’s number”, you really mean, for ONE year, 2007.

If Henin had not retired (cough, cough) I am pretty certain Williams would have returned to dominance over her. Williams did win both their post-07 matches.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

As for Seles, she certainly appeared on her way to GOAThood at the time. It is a real loss to tennis that we never got to see her at her best against Venus and Serena as they reached their prime!


Rich Says:

Seles is my GOAT, principally because I’ve never seen a female player as dominant as she was.

Navratilova in 1983 was close, but Seles battled a superior field, including my most talented player ever, Steffi Graf.

Not so sure Serena would have bested Henin post 2007. Henin was so better tactically. Too bad we’ll never know, similar to Borg/McEnroe what could have been.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

But Rich, she DID best her post 2007- she won their last two matches before Henin retired. You must have had a long nap!


elina Says:

I assume that most people would say that Margaret Court was the women’s GOAT.


skeezer Says:

^setup statement.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

You know how it is Elina: if your pictures are in black and white, you might as well have lived with the dinosaurs. I should have said “modern GOAT”, but my point was she was ON HER WAY to that status; here career stands as a big could-have-been because of the stabbing.


elina Says:

TV, I agree with you about Seles. I’m not disputing that. Such a tragedy.

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