Ana Ivanovic headlined the women’s action on Day 6 of the 2015 French Open today. The 2008 champion turned in her best win of 2015, allowing only three games to Donna Vekic. Defending champion Maria Sharapova couldn’t produce her best tennis against Sam Stosur, but it was still more than enough to see her through to the round of 16. Angelique Kerber and Carla Suarez Navarro weren’t as fortunate, as both were upset by Muguruza and Pennetta, respectively. Third round action wraps up tomorrow with Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka the headliner. For a look at the Day 5 men’s results click here.
A closer look at some of today’s matches:
(7) Ana Ivanovic d. Donna Vekic
Score: 6-0 6-3
At Roland Garros today, French fans witnessed the best win of 2015 for Ana Ivanovic as she advanced to the round of 16. She’s now one win away from only a third quarterfinal Slam appearance in her last 28 attempts, a staggering period of futility for the former world #1. Ranked #165, Vekic had no business troubling Ivanovic in this match, but recent tennis history tells us this was a good win for the Serb. After nearly crashing out of the tournament in the previous round to Misaki Doi, and already surviving a first round scare, Ivanovic advancing today was no sure thing. Consider too that Vekic had already taken out Caroline Garcia in her opening match; today, however, she looked more like the player who hadn’t won consecutive matches until late April.
Ivanovic gets #9 seed Ekaterina Makarova next.
(2) Maria Sharapova d. (26) Sam Stosur
Score: 6-3 6-4
Maria Sharapova improved her career record against Stosur to a Serena-esque 15-2 with her third round win today. The pair met in the fourth round of last year’s French Open where Sharapova prevailed 6-0 in the third set after dropping the first. The difference in today’s match was Stosur’s inability to create chances on Sharapova’s serve; after converting both break points in the first set, Stosur saw only one more chance the rest of the match. This was your typical Sharapova win: getting the job done even though her best game wasn’t at her disposal today. Both players hit almost twice as many unforced errors as winners, but Sharapova was able to protect her serve at crucial moments where Stosur couldn’t.
Sharapova faces #13 seed Lucie Safarova next in her title defense.
(29) Alize Cornet d. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
Score: 4-6 6-3 7-5
Cornet reaches the fourth round of her home Slam for the first time after a marathon win over one of the feel good WTA stories of the last year in Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Moreover, it’s just the third time Cornet has advanced this far at a Slam in 37 tries, and she’s never gone a step further to the final eight. Cornet is just as likely to blitz an opponent as she is to succumb to her own frailties, and so today’s hard-fought win against a gritty opponent bodes well for her finally having a breakout Slam. The difference in today’s match was the 33 additional unforced errors for Lucic-Baroni.
Cornet plays #19 seed Elina Svitolina for a place in the quarterfinals.
(28) Flavia Pennetta d. (8) Carla Suarez Navarro
Score: 6-3 6-4
Another tournament favorite exited Roland Garros as Carla Suarez Navarro put in a lackluster performance against Flavia Pennetta, joining Simona Halep and Svetlana Kuznetsova on the tournament sidelines. Suarez Navarro simply couldn’t protect her serve, winning 12/27 points on first serves (44%) and only 3/17 on her second toss (18%). When compared with 59% and 41% respectively for Pennetta, the Spaniard simply never gave herself a chance. Suarez Navarro entered as a favorite on the strength of a stellar 2015 season. However, she hasn’t been able to get the job done at the Slams: she’s made the quarterfinals or better at every tournament she’s played this year, except for the two Majors. Pennetta, known more for her prowess on hard courts, advances to her second fourth round at Roland Garros (’08).
Pennetta will face #21 Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round.
(21) Garbine Muguruza d. (11) Angelique Kerber (Score: 4-6 6-2 6-2)
(9) Ekaterina Makarova d. Elena Vesnina (Score: 6-2 6-4)
(13) Lucie Safarova d. (20) Sabine Lisicki (Score: 6-3 7-6)
(19) Elina Svitolina d. Annika Beck (Score: 6-3 2-6 6-4)
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