WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up French Open tips for a clash between first-time Grand Slam quarter-finalists Tamara Zidansek and Paula Badosa.
20:00 (AEST), Tue 8th Jun @ Roland Garros, Paris
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Twenty-three-year-olds Tamara Zidansek and Paul Badosa Gibert are in uncharted Grand Slam territory.
Slovenia’s Zidansek, the world No.85, has never previously been beyond the second round of a major – or even a WTA 1000 tournament. Though unseeded, Badosa’s charge was more widely expected. She made it to the fourth round at Roland Garros last year and has enjoyed an outstanding clay swing.
Spain’s Badosa upset Slam winners Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko at the 2020 French Open. She made it to the Charleston Open semi-finals in April after beating Ash Barty, before losing to Barty in the Madrid Open semis. Badosa then warmed up for the French Open by winning the Serbia Open.
The rising star – now ranked 35th – progressed past Lauren Davis and Danka Kovinic in straight sets in the opening two rounds, then came from a set down to beat Ana Bogdan. Bodosa booked her spot in the last eight by overcoming 20th seed and 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova.
Zidansek kicked off a breakout week in Paris by upsetting sixth seed and former US Open champ Bianca Andreescu in a 6-7 7-6 9-7 epic. She has since put away Madison Brengle in straight sets, Katerina Siniakova after losing the first 6-0, and Sorana Cirstea in two.
There have been a couple of recent pointers to Zidansek’s dark horse capabilities. She won the Copa Colsanitas on clay in April, pushed Barty to three sets at the Madrid Masters and beat Stephens in Rome Masters qualifying.
The clean-hitting Badosa’s nine-match winning streak – and the manner in which she has put it together – is impossible to ignore. Expect her to eventually break down Zidansek’s admirable defences and grab the semi-final berth on offer.
FRENCH OPEN TIPS
|Elena Rybakina V Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
|Result – Rybakina @ $1.71