2010 French Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Semifinals
Elena Dementieva (RUS) vs. Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Schiavone made history on Tuesday as she became the first Italian woman in the Open Era to reach the semis of a Grand Slam! She beat third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-3 and is now one win away from reaching her first Grand Slam final. She had been to the quarters of the French Open back in 2001 as well as the quarters of Wimbledon in 2009 and the US Open in 2003.
Dementieva eliminated Nadia Petrova 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the quarters to reach the semis of a Grand Slam for the ninth time in her career. She was a finalist at the French Open back in 2004, which also was the same year she reached the finals of the US Open. Many consider Dementieva the best woman to have never won a Grand Sla, so now would be a great opportunity to change that!
Dementieva is 6-4 against Schiavone and did beat her earlier this year at Sydney in straight sets. Their one meeting on clay came back in 2005 at the Fed Cup and Dementieva won that in three sets. Being an Italian, I couldn’t be prouder to see Schiavone get this far. She could definitely teach the Italian men on the tour a thing or two! Schiavone is a fighter to the bitter end, she never gives up and she’s a stone face out on the court. She is a good clay-courter and full capable of taking out Dementieva. The longer this match goes on, the more it favors Dementieva. She makes her opponents hit so many extra balls that it wears them down (especially on the clay) and because of this she is extremely tough to beat. Her serve is a weakness, but I don’t think it’s weak enough to hurt her in this match. This will be one heck of a match, but I give a slight advantage to Dementieva.
Nick’s Pick – Dementieva in 3 sets
Sam Stosur (AUS) vs. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
You have to give a ton of credit to Stosur for her win over Serena in the quarters. After winning the first set, she was up 5-3 in the second and couldn’t close her out. At that point, I know most people thought Serena would come back and win that match, but Stosur came up with the big shots and pulled it out. This is her second straight appearance in the semis of the French Open and she is looking to reach her first Grand Slam singles final.
Jankovic, who is traveling with IMG Bollettieri coach Chip Brooks, beat Yaroslava Shvedova in straight sets and she has only lost one set in the entire tournament (second round to Kaia Kanepi). This is her third appearance in the semis of the French Open and a win here would put her in the finals of a Grand Slam for the second time in her career.
Jankovic is 3-1 against Stosur, and they have played twice already this year. Jankovic won the first encounter at Indian Wells and then lost the second one at Miami. This will be their first career meeting on clay. This is going to be one heck of a match between two girls that are both playing fantastic tennis. What makes the difference for Stosur is that she is physically fit. I cannot stress how important this is on the tennis court! Her athleticism is off the wall and this is why she is still playing. Stosur’s serve, especially the kick serve, has been great and Jankovic will have to return really well to stay in this match. I look for Jankovic to try and pin Stosur in the corner and then use the open court to go for winners. Jankovic has to catch the ball early and she cannot get stuck behind the baseline. I give a slight edge to Jankovic because of her experience in these situations, but this could go either way!
Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 3 sets