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PREVIEW: 2022 ATP Tour – Women’s French Open Selected Quarterfinals

Damien Kayat previews the women’s ATP Tour French Open selected quarterfinals between Daria Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova as well as Iga Swiatek vs Jessica Pegula on 01 June 2022.

Damien Kayat previews the women’s ATP Tour French Open selected quarterfinals between Daria Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova as well as Iga Swiatek vs Jessica Pegula on 01 June 2022.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2022 ATP Tour
Grand Slam Tennis
French Open
Stade Roland Garros, Paris, France (Outdoor Clay)
Selected Quarterfinals- 1st June

Daria Kasatkina (20) (5/10) vs Veronika Kudermetova (29) (31/20)

This all-Russian quarterfinal will have added significance this year: Russian and Belarusian players are set to miss out on Wimbledon due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Daria Kasatkina will be looking to make her 4th semi-final of the year following performances in Melbourne, Sydney and Rome. The 2018 French Open quarterfinalist is looking to reach her maiden Grand Slam semi-final. And she has looked utterly imperious thus far.

Yet to drop a set this year, Kasatkina is finally realizing the massive clay-court potential that many commentators have noted in her. In fact, the Russian has only been broken twice leading into the quarterfinals this year. Everything really started to click for Kasatkina in Rome. She picked up massive victories against Fernandez and Badosa en route to the semi-finals. She pushed Ons Jabeur to the absolute brink in their epic semi-final clash. It’s going to take a herculean effort to stop the nuggety Russian.

On the surface, Veronika Kudermetova appears to be more of a surprise package than Kasatkina. Prior to this year’s French Open, Kudermetova had never progressed beyond the 3rd round of a Grand Slam.

But closer scrutiny reveals that her run is not entirely unexpected. 2021 was a breakthrough year for Kudermetova: she reached her maiden WTA final in Abu Dhabi before winning (on clay) at the Charleston Open. And she has carried on that progression in 2022, reaching three finals on tour this year.

This included a run to the Istanbul Cup final (also on clay). So, despite her lack of Grand Slam credentials, Kudermetova has shown both clay-court prowess and the ability to go deep in tournaments. She benefited from a 3rd round withdrawal from one of the pre-tournament favourites: Paula Badosa. And she looked in trouble in her round of 16 match, quickly going one set down against Grand Slam heavyweight Madison Keys.

But she roared back to take the final two sets in commanding fashion. Kudermetova looks hellbent on going deep this week.

The Verdict: Kasatkina to win in three at 31/10- Kasatkina won their only previous match in St Petersburg last year, coming back from a set down to advance to the semi-final stage. And I fully expect this to be similarly topsy turvy. Both players know that Wimbledon isn’t on the horizon this year. And the absolutely chaotic nature of this year’s draw makes this one of the most open Slams in recent memory. But I just think that Kasatkina’s clay-court nous will tilt the match in her favour over three sets.

Iga Swiatek (1) (1/8) vs Jessica Pegula (11) (5/1)

Watching Iga Swaitek drop the first set against Zheng Qinwin was almost surreal. That was the first set that the Pole has dropped in ten matches. The usually decisive Swiatek also blew five set points in the opening set. Swiatek responded with some absolutely devastating tennis to easily advance to the quarterfinal stage. I think that the Pole will be secretly pleased that the match went the distance.

Her aura of invincibility was perhaps becoming too much of a burden. That set was a nice reminder of how fragile these Slams can be (especially in the women’s three-set format). Still, it stretched Swiatek’s outrageous winning streak to 32 matches. But the Pole will need to tighten up her game as she approaches the business end of the tournament.

Her forehand has looked wayward in her last two matches while her serve hasn’t been operating at 100%. But as I said, perhaps she has experienced her lull at the perfect stage of the tournament.

I have to admit, Jessica Pegula was an American player that escaped me in my Roland Garros predictions. I was more preoccupied with the likes of Danielle Collins and Amanda Anisimova. Pegula has drifted slightly under the radar for me.

She shouldn’t have. This is now her 3rd Grand Slam quarterfinal (she reached her 2nd consecutive Aussie Open quarterfinal earlier this year). She has also performed brilliantly at the WTA 1000 level, reaching the semi-finals in Miami before a brilliant run to the Madrid final. Her form at Roland Garros this year has just been an extension of her consistent season.

She has benefitted somewhat from a fairly routine draw: 24th seed Zidansk has been her toughest opponent thus far. But now she needs to overcome what is possibly the stiffest test in world tennis: beat Iga Swiatek- in her current form- at a Slam that she has already won. It’s not going to be easy.

The Verdict: Swiatek to win in straight sets at 38/100- This will be the 3rd meeting between these two. Pegula won an early meeting in 2019 while Swiatek won in straight-sets in Miami last year. I just have the feeling that everything will click for the Pole in this match. As I noted earlier, she may feel slightly less pressure after coming back from a set down against Zheng. Pegula’s flatter, consistent hitting should make her quite predicable for Swiatek.

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