2008 French Open – Nick’s Pick – Women’s Singles 2nd Round
Nick’s Picks will have complete coverage of the 2008 French Open, and will be coming to you live from Paris for part of the event!! Also, Nick is teaming with Tennis Week to provide in-depth analysis of the French Open throughout the tournament! Check out Nick’s Picks for the entire men’s and women’s draws!
Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. Bethanie Mattek (USA)
Sharapova barely (two points away from losing) survived her first round match against Evgeniya Rodina, winning 6-1, 3-6, 8-6. If she would have lost, she would have been the first top seed in the Open Era to fall in the first round. I’m very happy that she didn’t suffer that fate!
Mattek won an all-American battle in the first round, beating Madison Brengle 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. One thing is for sure, you certainly never know what Mattek is going to wear out there for this match. I’m sure the designers are lining up to invent something original for her to sport, and this usually makes for an interesting topic of conversation!
Sharapova is 2-0 against Mattek, including a win over her on clay earlier this year at Charleston. Mattek has a big forehand and loves to slug away from the baseline. She has been around for a while now, and knows how to put points together better than before. Her biggest weakness is her focus and concentration. She is very streaky and tends to be a bit all over the place mentally. On the other hand, Sharapova is as mentally strong as anyone. Clay may not be her best surface, but she makes up for it with her willingness to fight and never give up. I look for her to rebound in this match and put the doubters to rest.
Nick’s Pick – Sharapova in 2 sets
Elena Dementieva (RUS) vs. Marta Domachowska (POL)
Dementieva is a former finalist here (2004), and has reached the third round the last two years. She did lose the first set to Vera Dushevina in the opening round, but bounced back and ended up winning 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-2. Look out for her as the tourney progresses.
Domachowska is a 22-year old Polish girl, who is currently ranked #73 in the world. She didn’t play in the French Open in 2007, but did in 2005 and 2006. Her best result this year came at the Australian Open, where she qualified and then went on to reach the fourth round before losing to Serena Williams.
Dementieva is 1-0 against Domachowska, with that win coming in 2006 at Antwerp. Domachowska has a big first serve, and a respectable kick second serve. She moves well, and has a good run-around forehand which she hits flat. She also has a nice two-handed backhand. We all know about Dementieva’s serve, but I happen to think that it is better than people give it credit for. Once she gets the ball in play, there is no one who hits the ball cleaner than Dementieva. Her groundstrokes are as solid as they come, and her movement is excellent. She is an excellent clay-court player, and has already been to the finals of two clay-court tournament this year. I look for her to move on.
Nick’s Pick – Dementieva in 2 sets
Alize Cornet (FRA) vs. Gisela Dulko (ARG)
With Mauresmo falling back, and Bartoli and Golovin suffering injuries, Cornet is the next big hope for France. She made quick work of Julia Vakulenko in the first round, winning 7-5, 6-4. She just reached a career high of #20 in the world, and is on the rise!
Dulko won the title on clay at Fes earlier this month, and has also been to the fourth round at Roland Garros before (2006). She beat Italian Sara Errani in three sets in the first round.
This will be the first career meeting between the 18-year old Cornet and the 23-year old Dulko. Cornet moves extremely well, and loves to hit the forehand. She has a nice two-handed backhand, and a good one-handed defensive slice. Her biggest weakness is her serve, especially the 2nd serve. Dulko feels home on the clay, plays a heavy ball, and moves well. She is very consistent, but lacks a big weapon. This has the potential to be an exciting match, especially with the French fans spurring on Cornet. I like the young Frenchwomen here.
Nick’s Pick – Cornet in 3 sets
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs. Lucie Safarova (CZE)
Ivanovic got by Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 7-5 in the first round, and she didn’t serve that well. She only got in 58% of her first serves, and had six double faults. She cannot do that again and expect to get back to the finals for a second straight year.
After breaking through last year, Safarova has been very inconsistent in 2008. She has seen her ranking slide to #41, and hasn’t gotten past the second round of a tournament since Miami. Although, she looked very good in the first round, beating Sandra Kloesel 6-1, 6-1 and is a dangerous floater.
Ivanovic is 1-0 against Safarova, with that win coming back in 2007 at Los Angeles. Despite Safarova’s inconsistencies in 2008, she has the talent to make this a competitive match. Safarova plays hard and flat, has long legs, and moves well. Both girls are big hitters and like to stay back at the baseline. Ivanovic needs to serve better, and I think she will. Safarova can do everything Ivanovic does, but Ivanovic just does it better!
Nick’s Pick – Ivanovic in 2, could go 3