French Open Tips Day Eight: JJ to KO the champion
Jelena Jankovic has a 3-1 advantage in the head-to-head against Francesca Schiavone
"However, anyone interested in the outcome of this match should take note that dark horse Jankovic has a 3-1 head-to-head series lead over last year’s French Open champion with her one and only loss taking place in Sydney way back in 2004."
Jelena Jankovic is known for a certain inconsistency at times, and often on the biggest stages, but there are good reasons to think she can beat defending champion Francesca Schiavone.
Tenth Seed, Jelena Jankovic has quietly gone about her business, barely causing a murmur of mention amongst the press and commentators covering this year's French Open.
However, anyone interested in the outcome of this match should take note that dark horse Jankovic has a 3-1 head-to-head series lead over last year's French Open champion with her one and only loss taking place in Sydney way back in 2004. Since then Jankovic has won all three matches against the Italian and in straight sets, including their most recent meeting on the clay courts of Marbella in 2009 which the Serbian won comfortably 6-2 6-1.
Although the Italian No. 1 has formidable statistics on the red stuff of 14-4 since her maiden Grand Slam singles title on the Parisian dirt last year, her only decent win on the surface has been against Daniela Hantuchova, who she ousted in three sets at the Rome Premier event earlier in this month.
With her four losses coming against players such as Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Samantha Stosur, Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki, Schiavone's dominance and form of late has been questionable especially against players in which she is priced up as the underdog; this is highlighted by the Italian losing her last five matches when the odds were against her.
The fact that Schaivone has taken a total of just two sets from four matches against Jankovic underlines the reason for the Serbian to start as favourite to win on Sunday. This match will be close, however everything in my view points to a Jankovic win...
Recommended Bet: Back Jelena Jankovic @ [1.75] to win match
My heart says Hantuchova but my head is saying Kuznetsova will win this one regardless of Daniela's demolition of World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the previous round.
Firstly, former French Open Champion Kuznetsova is ranked higher than her opponent; she has a 7-4 series lead over Hantuchova including two match wins on clay courts both in straight sets. The Russian also holds a better record in Paris, winning 12 of her last 13 matches and in Grand Slams recording six wins from her last seven.
Having watched Kuznetsova destroy her first three opponents at this year's open in straight sets, losing only eleven games in total, I can't see how the sometimes fragile Hantuchova is going to cope with the power and accuracy of a two time Grand Slam Champion.
Recommended Bet: Back Svetlana Kuznetsova @ [1.85] to win match