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By Rohit Sharma
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Follow the Swashbuckling action at Roland Garros with TennisEarth.com and get the minute by minute updates of the French Open
Day 11 at the 2010 French Open promises to bring some really good match ups featuring names like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. After the unexpected exit of Roger Federer last night, the big names in the tennis world have understood the 'Power of the Underdogs'. What's in store for the fans today, let's take a look at the four quarterfinal matches to find out.
Rafael Nadal vs. Nicolas Almagro -
For years, Rafael Nadal has been the 'guarantee of success' on the red clay of Roland Garros. His reign can easily be compared to legendary Pete Sampras' domination at Wimbledon in the nineties. Despite all the analogies and words of appreciation, there is one thing that describes Nadal's formula of success - his competitive spirit. When Nadal is on court, he does not judge his opponent by their stature or their rank, all he sees is a challenge coming towards him, which he has to overcome, come what may...! His opponent today, Nicolas Almagro gave him a real scare in Madrid weeks ago by taking the opening set from the Mallorcan. But true to form, Nadal bounced back and defeated Almagro in next two easy sets to enter the final where he outclassed Federer. Now, a look at Almagro's career graph shows that where he has been extremely consistent on clay, title mirth has often eluded him. Almagro's biggest ally is his brilliant shotmaking, which is good enough to match the tenacity of the four time champion. But the truth is that Almagro really needs to play every point with utmost desire, to win it. Any mistake from Almagro will further make his road difficult. This match up is definitely bound to produce high quality of tennis but TennisEarth.com will go with Rafael Nadal in 3 sets.
Track Claycourt King Rafael Nadal's opponents at this year's French Open, click here to know more about the Spaniard's possible upcoming clashes in the draw
Jelena Jankovic vs. Yaroslava Shvedova -
Every year, there is atleast one girl that leaves a mark on the historic clay of Roland Garros with her improved play, and more precisely with her surprise run at the second major of the year. Last year, it was Dominika Cibulkova, in 2008, it was Kaia Kanepi and this year, it's undoubtedly Yaroslava Shvedova. The Kazakh girl's best Grand Slam performance till date was her QF finish at U.S. Open in 2007, but ever since she has failed to live upto the expectations. This year though, she played some really good tennis and advanced to the fourth round in Miami and semifinals in Barcelona. Technique wise, Shvedova's game suits the clay surface, her aggressive aproach from the baseline makes her a strong opponent for anybody. Her road to the quarterfinal includes victories over established names like Agnieszka Radwanska and Alisa Kleybanova. But today is most certainly going to be different as she faces the most in-form player on the tour - Jelena Jankovic. The Serbian star could not be more prepared to clinch her maiden Grand Slam title according to many critics and tennis pundits. Her victory at Indian Wells, coupled with back-to-back wins over Serena and Venus Williams have put her in the league of her own. TennisEarth.com finds it safe and wise to choose Jelena Jankovic as the winner in today's quarterfinal match up.
Will Jankovic prove her mettle by claiming her first Grand Slam title? Ind out her chances at the 2010 French Open by tracking her progress in the draw, click here.
Novak Djokovic vs. Jurgen Melzer -
Austrian Jurgen Melzer's appearance in the Grand Slam final at Roland Garros this year was as unpredictable as Yaroslava Shvedova's dream run. Yet, the Austrian defied all odds and completed the last eight line up with his brilliant play. Melzer's most impressive win came in the third round when he beat Rome finalist David Ferrer in straight sets. Ferrer came through an excellent European claycourt season and took out Andy Murray in both Rome and Madrid. To be able to get past such a seasoned clay court player enhances your confidence level multifolds. And this will be the key factor for him in today's match against Novak Djokovic. The Serb has been less than perfect this year and apart from his title defence in Dubai, Djokovic has failed to leave a mark in any other tournament. Still, he found the determination to excel in the claycourt major with a hard earned place in the quarterfinals. The question now is - How far can the Serb go? All the way? The most critical part of Djokovic's game is his unforced error count, especially the service errors which have kept him on toes in all his previous matches. A lot depends on how Djokovic performs in today's clash, and if he is able to bring his percentage game to the fore, he can come out a winner in four sets.
Will Djokovic end the two year major title drought with a win at the 2010 French Open? Find out more about his possible upcoming clashes, click here.
Serena Williams vs. Samantha Stosur -
There have been very few women who have beaten Serena Williams in her primal form. Stosur is ironically NOT one of them. The Australian beat Serena during the US Open series when Williams was struggling with injuries. Better known as the doubles specialist, Stosur concentrated on her singles career after achieveing great success in the doubles arena and after a disappointing beginning, found the form to claim big titles. The Australian won her first WTA singles title in as many as six final attempts last year at the HP Open. The 2010 season though brought the kind of success that every player dreams of as Stosur took out some of the biggest names in tennis arena to claim her first tier-I tournament in Charleston. And on Monday at Roland Garros, she registered the biggest win of her life, she handed Justine Henin her first defeat at Roland Garros in six years. The is definitely a fact that is of concern to Serena Williams. Williams looked off form during her fourth round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and lost the second set rather handily, This is one mistake she can't afford to commit against Stosur. Henin too started off well against the Australian but as she lost concentration, the match slipped away from her. Serena beat Stosur at this year's Australian Open in two sets, and if all goes as expected, she will come out a winner in two sets today as well.
Track your favourite and 12 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams' progress in the draw, click here.
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