The French Open followed a familiar theme on Saturday—upsets on the women's side, chalk generally holding for the men.
Both scenarios have made the action at Roland Garros particularly compelling. On the men's side, we generally want to see the top players go at it in the later rounds because the level of play is historically high. On the women's side, there is Serena Williams and a large group of potential contenders, so upsets and crazy results set up interesting matchups and always promise the possibility of a new star being born.
The mystical clay at Roland Garros always makes things fun, doesn't it? Let's look back at some of the more notable results from Saturday.
Note: Not all matches on Day 7 were complete at the time of publication.
|No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova def. No. 5 Petra Kvitova||6-7(3), 6-1, 9-7|
|No. 15 Sloane Stephens def. No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova||6-3, 6-4|
|No. 23 Lucie Safarova def. No. Ana Ivanovic||6-3, 6-3|
|No. 5 David Ferrer def. No. 32 Andreas Seppi||6-2, 7-6(2), 6-3|
|No. 6 Jelena Jankovic def. No. 26 Sorana Cirstea||6-1, 6-2|
|No. 4 Simona Halep def. Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor||6-3, 6-0|
|No. 10 Sara Errani def. Julia Glushko||6-0, 6-1|
|No. 1 Rafael Nadal def. Leonardo Mayer||6-2, 7-5, 6-2|
The upsets continue.
No. 5 Petra Kvitova? Gone. No. 11 Ana Ivanovic, a former winner at Roland Garros? Gone. Yes, folks, that means that eight of the Top 13 seeds in this tournament have now been eliminated.
For Ivanovic, it was a familiar result against Lucie Safarova, as Beyond the Baseline tweeted:
Ana Ivanovic can't break the duck vs. Lucie Safarova, loses her fifth straight match to the Czech in straight sets. Another favorite out.— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) May 31, 2014
Three of the top seeds did manage to survive on Saturday, though, as No. 4 Simona Halep, No. 6 Jelena Jankovic and No. 10 Sara Errani all won in straight sets. Halep is the top seed remaining on the women's side, a fact that even has her surprised, as she told the Associated Press, via CBC Sports:
"That's a surprise for everyone. Is not easy to be the [top] seeded now, during the tournament. But I try just to keep ...the pressure [away]."
Round 4 will certainly have some intriguing matchups. No. 7 Maria Sharapova, now most people's favorite to win the tournament, will take on No. 19 Samantha Stosur. No. 15 Sloane Stephens will look to break through against Halep. And, in the premier match, Jankovic will face Errani.
There will be a lot of good tennis played in Round 4. And, more than likely, a slew of upsets.
With Andy Murray yet to finish, the most relevant results on the men's side were Rafael Nadal's normal proficiency and David Ferrer's rather dominant performance against Andreas Seppi.
Everyone is hoping to see the delicious potential quarterfinal between the Spaniards, a matchup generally dominated by Nadal, who leads the all-time series 21-6. However, Ferrer has taken two of the last three matches between the two and twice beaten Nadal in Grand Slams.
But, like pretty much everyone else in tennis, he's never beaten him (0-3) on the clay at Roland Garros.
Still, assuming he gets past Kevin Anderson, Ferrer should have a lot of momentum going into his match with Nadal. He's yet to lose a set in this tournament and lost just 26 games, with six of them coming in the second set against Seppi.
Nadal has looked equally dominant, however, so the potential clash of titans seems unlikely to disappoint.