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Serena's Exit Opens Lots of Doors

2014-05-29T22:30:46Z

When Garbine Muguruza upset Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday, the rest of the women's field had to see a much-improved opportunity at Roland Garros this year.

Maria Sharapova, seeded 7, is widely considered to be currently the best player on clay, except when she faces Serena, whose absence makes her the new favorite.  The highest seed left in the first quarter with her is Dominika Cibulkova (9), but at 5'3", she may have trouble with the exceptionally heavy topspins of her next opponent, Sam Stosur (19).  Maria, at 6'2", won't be nearly as bothered by heavy kicks, but at her best, Stosur can beat anyone.

In the second quarter, Agnieszka Radwanska (3), the highest seed left in the draw, should manage to come through, despite preferring surfaces other than clay.  If Angelique Kerber (8) gets on a hot streak, she could overpower Radwanska, and Eugenie Bouchard (18) is a fast-rising star, but Radwanska has the best assortment of tools in the women's game--minus huge power.

The third quarter is full of unpredictable, powerful players, Petra Kvitova (5), Svetlana Kuznetsova (27), Ana Ivanovic (11), and Sloane Stephens (15), along with the second-highest seed left in the tournament, Simona Halep (4), who has a great chance to come through if none of the others has an unusually extended hot streak.

In the bottom quarter, two players who rely on quickness and consistency, Jelena Jankovic  (6) and Sara Errani (10) have the best chances.  A Jankovic vs. Errani quarterfinal would likely feature the longest average rallies of the tournament.

Serena's Exit Opens Lots of Doors originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 at 22:30:46.

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Mladenovic Upsets Li

2014-05-27T19:56:36Z

Kristina Mladenovic, ranked #103 in the world, upset the second seed, Li Na, in the first round at Roland Garros on Tuesday 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.  Facing set points at 4-5 in the first set, the 5'11" Mladenovic found big serves just when she most needed them and, after holding, broke Li and then closed out the set.  The result of the first set seemed to have opposite effects on the players, as  Mladenovic, perhaps overexcited or anxious about the prospect of the biggest win of her career in front of her home-country fans,  suffered a lull, and Li, perhaps shocked, steadied up.  Once they were back on even terms at a set apiece, though, both players seemed to have another mental reset, which in Li's case was unfortunate, as she her errors quickly outnumbered her winners.  Mladenovic, who just turned 21, will be one to watch, as her size, power, well-rounded game, and mental resilience signal a lot of potential.

Mladenovic Upsets Li originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 19:56:36.

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Rankings Mini-Quiz: Week of 5-26-14

2014-05-27T17:48:01Z

Which player in the WTA top 20 gained the most ranking spots between last week and this week?

Who is the only player in the ATP top 20 to improve his ranking between last week and this week?

Rankings Mini-Quiz: Week of 5-26-14 originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 17:48:01.

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Wawrinka Upset in First Round

2014-05-26T19:45:52Z

Stan Wawrinka, the third seed at Roland Garros, lost in the first round Monday to 41st-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0. Wawrinka has put together only one really strong tournament, his Masters 1000 title at Monte Carlo, since winning the Australian Open in January, but he was in poor form even compared to his recent disappointments. Stan committed 62 unforced errors, with 37 winners falling far short of compensating.

Wawrinka Upset in First Round originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Monday, May 26th, 2014 at 19:45:52.

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French Open History Quiz

2014-05-23T22:37:10Z

Tennis has come a long way since 11th-century French monks started hitting a ball of wool across the monastery courtyard. This quiz doesn't take you back quite that far, but it does reach back to Roland Garros himself.

French Open History Quiz originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 22:37:10.

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Clay Courts: the Good, the Bad, and the Debatable

2014-05-23T22:28:48Z

As you watch Roland Garros over the next two weeks, you'll see many of the pros and cons of clay courts demonstrated at the highest level.

Clay Courts: the Good, the Bad, and the Debatable originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 22:28:48.

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Rankings Mini-Quiz: Week of 5-19-14

2014-05-20T19:45:11Z

Which two players in the ATP top 10 traded ranking spots between last week and this week?

Which WTA player climbed into a ranking spot between last week and this week that will prevent her having to face any of the top three at Roland Garros before the semifinals?

Rankings Mini-Quiz: Week of 5-19-14 originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 19:45:11.

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Choosing Racquets and Strings to Prevent Tennis Elbow

2014-05-20T19:41:55Z

Arm-friendly racquets and strings may not be able to save your arm from really poor stroke technique, but if your strokes are fairly sound, your choices in gear can make the difference between a happy and a hurting arm.

Choosing Racquets and Strings to Prevent Tennis Elbow originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 19:41:55.

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Tennis Pros Looking Funny

2014-05-17T15:24:09Z

If you want to be a tennis pro, you'll need power, speed, stamina, focus, great coordination, and many other assets. You'll also end up looking pretty funny once in a while.

Tennis Pros Looking Funny originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 15:24:09.

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How to Hit Low Volleys Video

2014-05-17T15:09:32Z

Learn why low volleys are so different from high volleys and how to hit your three best options when you're meeting the volley below the top of the net.

How to Hit Low Volleys Video originally appeared on About.com Tennis on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 15:09:32.

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