The first Saturday of the French Open saw some top players struggle why others soared into the last 16.
Fourth seed Petra Kvitova was first onto Chatrier and in the first continued to cruise as she has been doing throughout the entire tournament, as her big game fired winner to race to claim the set 6-2. In the second set her 109th ranked Russian opponent Nina Bratchikova was able to expose the flaws in the Czech’s game, especially her movement. Bratchikova was enjoying her equal best run a major, matching her third round result from the Australian Open this year, but was unable to carry her momentum into the third set as Kvitova returned her first set form blasting the 26-year-old off the court 6-1 in the third.
Matching her third round results from the last two slams, American Christina McHale pushed defending champ and seventh seed Li Na all the way in their third round match, before succumbing to the pace of shot from the Chinese veteran. On a surfaces that suites her game so well, McHale was able to get a break in the eighth game of the first set and then serve it out 6-3. From then on in however it was all Li Na as she crafted points beautifully, denying McHale the opportunity to join the last 16 with compatriots Sloane Stephens and Varvara Lepchenko. Li Na raced thorugh the final sets to post a 3-6 6-2 6-1 victory. While the former Uzbekistanian Lepchenko upset 2010 champion and last years runner up 8-6 in the final set of their third round meeting
The seventh section of the draw featured Serena Williams and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki, and produced for us the surprising fourth round clash between Arantxa Rus and Kaia Kanepi. Rus, who famoulsy saved two match points to defeat Kim Clijsters in the second round of last years French Open survived the test of 2011 form clay-courter and 25th seed Julia Goerges, who complained about a lack of light in the final set and took medical time out(s) to prolong the match hoping for it to be delayed until tomorrow unfortunately for the German her questionable tactics were not successful as she fell 6-7 6-2 2-6 to the young Dutch woman. Kaia Kenepi’s biggest opponent in her match against former world number one Wozniacki was her own brain as she let slip match points for a 6-1 6-2 victory and was eventually able to nudge out a 6-1 6-7 6-3 win against her Danish opponent, he bought her gamesmanship to the court in what has been dubbed a “McEnroe-esque” performance, complaining of line calls as early as the second point of the match.
Maria Sharapova continues to roll through her increasingly easier draw defeating 2011 surprise packet Peng Shuai 6-2 6-1.