Roland Garros – Day 9 – 4th Round Match Predictions

Monday features four fascinating fourth round clashes where some surprise quarterfinalists will be confirmed. 

(4) Simona Halep vs (15) Sloane Stephens 

Simona Halep, the highest seed left in the draw will face by far her biggest test of the fortnight when she takes on American Sloane Stephens in the fourth Round on Monday.

Halep has powered through the opening week, dominating her first three opponents, inflicting three consecutive straight set victories. Sloane Stephens has once again peaked at a Grand Slam. This is the 6th consecutive time the erratic American has reached the second week of a Grand Slam. Stephens is also yet to drop a set, cruising past Ekaterina Makarova in the third round.

As the highest seed left in the draw, the pressure is on Halep; she has certainly never been in this position at a Grand Slam.

These two haven’t played since Simona’s rise up the rankings. Stephens thumped Halep in their two previous encounters early in 2013 in Australia. Halep won their only other match, which was on clay in Barcelona in 2012.

These two ladies are similar in many ways. They are both very good movers, both very good retrievers and both able to attack with big forehands and both at similar stages in their career with Halep obviously slightly ahead at the moment.

Halep is the strong favourite heading into this match but Stephens is a dangerous opponent and is certainly capable of frustrating Halep and causing an upset.

Prediction: Sloane Stephens to defeat Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-2

(6) Jelana Jankovic vs (10) Sara Errani 

Last years semi finalist Sara Errani will have her work cut out when she meets the number 6 seed Jelana Jankovic for a spot in the final 8 at Roland Garros.  

Both Jankovic and Errani were pushed to three sets in their opening round matches but both seem to be getting better with each match, coming through their last two matches in straight sets. Jankovic was particularly impressive in her straight sets domination of Sorana Cirstea, someone she has had trouble with in the past. 

Errani has defeated Jankovic on two of the three occasions they have played, including the last two times. The most recent encounter  was a few weeks ago in Rome, Errani victorious in front of a vocal Italian crowd. Her other victory over Jankovic came at last years year end championships, in this match Jankovic had nothing to play for, having already qualified for the semifinals. 

Both ladies are very comfortable on clay and both have great records at Roland Garros. Errani a finalist in 2012 and a semifinalist in 2013, whilst Jankovic has reached the semi finals in Paris on three occasions. 

There is a lot of pressure on Errani here in terms of points to defend and in the past she hasn't dealt with pressure very well. I feel the result of this match will depend on Jankovic's attitude. If she is patient and tactically sound she should come through victorious. 

Prediction: Jelana Jankovic to defeat Sara Errani 7-5 7-5 

(23) Lucie Safarova vs (27) Svetlana Kuznetsova 

Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova once again features at the pointy end of the tournament at Roland Garros. The Russian will face Lucie Safarova, fresh of her upset victory over Ana Ivanovic for a spot in the quarterfinals. 

Kuznetsova spent over three hours on court in her marvellous third round victory over a determined but erratic Petra Kvitova. Safarova made surprisingly light work of her match with Ivanovic, the Czech seems to match up very well against Ivanovic and she took full advantage of this. 

These two haven't played each other in over two years, their head to head is split at 3-3. This will be the first time they have played on clay.

I'm not sure Kuznetsova can play at a high enough level after her three set victory over Kvitova to trouble Safarova. The match will be on Safarova's racquet, if she can control her aggression and limit the number of errors she hits she should be able to win this match. 

Prediction: Lucie Safarova to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 6-2 

(28) Andrea Petkovic vs (Q) Kiki Bertens 

Not many, if any would have predicted this fourth round match up when the draw was released. This is a massive opportunity for two ladies at different stages of their careers to reach the quarterfinals on a Grand Slam. 

Bertens raced through qualifiers and has carried that momentum into the main draw, dropping just one set to Pavlyuchenkova. Her opponent, Andrea Petkovic will be by Bertens biggest test thus far. 

Petkovic overcame illness and a vocal french crowd to defeat Kiki Mladenovic in the third round. It was a close match but Petkovic was better when it mattered most. Petkovic has worked so hard to be back playing at this level and I really can't se her slipping up here. 

Prediction: Andrea Petkovic to defeat Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-3

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