I thought Serena played pretty well against Goerges in her 6/3 6/4 win. There were still a few things to work on for sure. The movement is getting better but still not quite where she would want it to be at the moment. Rena served well and looked good off the ground. Once again I am very proud and the fear factor is almost certainly still there when she steps out on the court. You can tell by her opponents. Like I said after her win over Barty, the signs going forward are very, very positive, especially for Wimbledon and the US Open, her preferred faster surfaces.
Next up for Rena is the fourth round against Maria Sharapova. The Russian ousted a very poor Karolina Pliskova 6/2 6/1, but you can only beat what is put in front of you. Though Serena’s has an obvious head to head over Sharapova, it is probably not a match I wanted this soon into the comeback. We have it though and will see what happens tomorrow. After Sharapova’s book, it is a chance for Rena to set a few records straight.
Garbine Muguruza once again looked good in beating former finalist Sam Stosur 6/0 6/2. This looked like it could be a potentially nasty match as the Ozzy had been finding some form of late. I actually read after this defeat that Stosur will know leave the worlds top 100. Muguruza is on cruise control at the moment and she will face Lesia Tsurenko next after she ousted Maggie Rybarikova in straight sets.
Simona Halep came through against an injured Andrea Petkovic. It was once again a knee injury for Petkovic which seemed to be worse after losing the first set as the 7/5 6/0 scoreline suggests. Halep will play the ever solid Elise Mertens in the last 16 after she pummelled Daria Gavrilova 6/3 6/1.
Caroline Garcia outgunned Begu 6/1 6/3, this was a much needed quickfire route into the next round having struggled against Shuai Peng. It will get tougher from here on in for Garcia and I’m sure the crowd will respond to this. Angie Kerber is waiting for her next after she beat Kiki Bertens in two tie-breaks. Bertens came into this event with high hopes after her run in Madrid but in truth, she looked slightly overrated coming into Paris, especially with the bookmakers.
In the bottom half, Anett Kontaveit beat Petra Kvitova in a big hitting affair 7/6 7/6. The Estonian is certainly starting to make inroads now and this is a big win mentally for her. She will play Sloane Stephens in the last 16 after the American dug deep to beat Camila Giorgi 8/6 in the third. Giorgi actually served for this twice but Sloane has shown how much heart she has in big situations like this before. She has some bottle in abundance.
Kyle Edmunds run came to an end against Fabio Fognini. This was more classic Fog and a match that was generally in his hands, despite being two sets to one down. You always felt that if he upped his level to any consistency he would find a way through and he did eventually. The see-saw nature of this match reminded me a bit of a Henman loss at RG against some of the clay courters back in the day. Marin Cilic next for the Italian who had too much in virtually every department for Steve Johnson. Edmund can be very pleased with his efforts on clay and can now look forward to the grass court campaign.
Rafa continued his run against Richard Gasquet. Rafa said he basically felt sorry for Gasquet after, as they are pretty close mates. I think I read Rafa has now won the last 28 sets against the Frenchman. Ouch! Maximillian Marterer is next for Nadal, he put an end to Lucky Loser Jurgen Zopp’s tournament in a comfortable straight sets. This was one match too far for an exhausted Zopp.
My little man Diego ousted Borna Coric 7/5 6/3 6/3 in a war of attrition. It sounds like the backhand was on fire from Schwartzman who is yet to drop a set yet. It is the first time he has made the fourth round but I very much doubt the last. Let’s see how he gets on against Kevin Anderson, the winner should play Nadal in the last 8. Diego is a slight favourite against the South African.
John Isner put on another serving clinic against Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The forehand was also apparently on fire. It has been so far so good for the American. This means we will have a huge hitting encounter next against Delpo in the next round, which is obviously a couple of step up in class. This promises to be an absolute cracker. Delpo brushed aside Ramos-Vinolas in straights.
In the matches held overnight, Karen Khachanov finished off Lucas Pouille in straights. Particularly impressive from the Russian who will play Sascha Zverev today. Love the way he strikes the ball the Russian. David Goffin made hard work of Gael Monfils, saving four match points in the fourth set and the pair even had a few words exchanged despite being good pals. It was over the umpire telling Monfils to speed up and slow down over the two days play. All fine afterwards. It does worry me how Goffin makes a meal of matches at times, I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt him during this fortnight.
Andy Del Potro