2011 French Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 4
Marion Bartoli (FRA) vs. Gisela Dulko (ARG)
Bartoli is 4-0 against Dulko, but the two have never met on the dirt. Dulko picked up a great win over last year’s runner-up, Sam Stosur, in the third round and she is into the Round of 16 for the second time in her career. She is a very good clay-court player as she moves well, can play with variety and is crafty. Her record against Bartoli isn’t great, but on clay I think things may be a bit more even.
Bartoli came from behind to win in three sets in the third round and once she gets on a roll she is tough to stop. She pounds the ball with two hands from both sides, moves well and really takes it to her opponents. She will have the crowd behind her and that always helps and I just feel that her relentless groundstokes will be the difference in this match. I like Bartoli in three sets.
Nick’s Pick – Bartoli in 3 sets
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Francesca Schivaone (ITA)
Wow, this a must-see match!! They have met four times previously and Jankovic has won three of those including their only match on clay. Schiavone is the defending champion for a reason. She plays with tremendous passion, her determination is second to none and she has the game on clay to beat anyone. Her movement is fantastic and she can play with a ton of variety.
To win this match, Jankovic has to play to Schiavone’s backhand constantly. I wouldn’t play too many balls to Schiavone’s forehand as that is her better weapon. Jankovic has one of the best backhands on the WTA tour and when she hits it down-the-line she is at her best. This match could really go either way as both are playing great tennis right now. I have to give a slight edge to Jankovic because I feel she can control the points more, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go to the Italian either. Make sure you are watching this match!!
Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 3 sets