Women's singles action at the French Open continues today, with two quarter-finals plus the remaining fourth round clash. Dan Weston is back to discuss the schedule...
"Although winning 17/18 is impressive, the opposition quality in a lot of these matches are far from main tour level, and the third seed, Svitolina, will be a gigantic step up from playing players ranked outside the top 100, and in some cases outside the top 200."
Collins and Jabeur forced to wait until Tuesday
Our hopes for a Monday winner were put on ice with Danielle Collins forced to return today for her fourth-round clash with Ons Jabeur - this clash is scheduled to start at 1000 UK time - with the winner due to face Sofia Kenin after the American got the better of Fiona Ferro, fighting back from losing the first set 2-6 to record a three-set win.
There were also wins for Petra Kvitova and Laura Siegemund yesterday, both in straight sets, and they face each other tomorrow in the second batch of women's quarter-finals.
Svitolina a huge step up for Podoroska
However, today, the first two quarter-finals get underway, and rather unusually for the women's tournament, there are two heavy favourites to progress against players who qualified to even make the main draw. Also unfortunately, both look pretty accurately priced to win their matches.
In the first quarter-final, scheduled not before 1130 UK time, Elina Svitolina faces the Argentine qualifier, Nadia Podoroska. Podoroska has never broken the top 130 but certainly will following her displays over the last week and a half, and she will be full of confidence having won 12 matches on the spin following a win in the Saint Malo ITF event at the start of September. Having reached the semi-final of the Prague WTA Challenger event the week prior to that, Podoroska has won 17 of her last 18 matches.
Although winning 17/18 is impressive, the opposition quality in a lot of these matches are far from main tour level, and the third seed, Svitolina, will be a gigantic step up from playing players ranked outside the top 100, and in some cases outside the top 200.
Svitolina is on an eight-match unbeaten run herself on clay, having won in Strasbourg immediately prior to the French Open, and is priced as a 1.331/3 favourite to make the semi-finals, which looks very accurate to me.
Swiatek likely to be too good for qualifier Trevisan
Also accurate is the 1.182/11 price about the Polish sensation, Iga Swiatek, to beat another qualifer - Martina Trevisan. Swiatek demolished Simona Halep in a superb display on Sunday and is yet to drop a set in the tournament so far, with 6/8 sets being won by a 6-1 or 6-2 margin - she has been clinical throughout this event.
Trevisan has had three consecutive wins priced over 3.002/1 although it's worth pointing out that Kiki Bertens had injury doubts and it was incredibly difficult to ascertain Cori Gauff's clay level given the surface sample size issues. Only her fightback win over Maria Sakkari looks to be a win where you can definitely say that it was a real shock - and Sakkari had two match points at 6-4 in the second set tiebreak as well.
Random runs to the latter stages of Grand Slams are often built on the foundation of fine margins and it could potentially be the case that Trevisan reaching this stage - impressive as it is - is summarised by that adage. I'd be extremely surprised if Swiatek didn't record another routine victory and continue the journey that sees her as the 3.45 tournament favourite at the time of writing.
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