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27th May 2016, 07:20 PM
French Open: Strycova - Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska beat a very nervous looking Caroline Garcia comfortably in R2 and looks to have arrived here in good shape. Ahead of that match I wrote about her untapped talent on the surface ........ "That is been the case in three previous h2h matches with Agnie, which the Polish superstar leads 2-1, with all going to three sets and there has barely been a cigarette paper between them in those matches. This will be just Radwanska's second outdoor clay match of the season and it is fair to say that she has underachieved in Paris compared to the other slams, especially given that she won a singles and doubles tournament here as a junor. She has lost to Annika Beck and Ajla Tomlihjanovic in the last two years and at least subconsciously, I suspect her attention is already on the grass and US hardcourt campaigns ahead. She has the potential to go deep in RG, but it is early that she is most suspect and I expect Garcia to push her all the way today for a fourth time. "

H2h wise she leads BZS 4-0 and has won all eight sets played, despite all being on hard courts that gives Radwanska a big mental advantage and there is a good chance that the Czech player already feels she has surpassed expectations here, having lost in R1 at Roland Garros in her last eight apperances. If we remove Madrid (which is not really clay and is at "altitude") from the stats, she is 0-8 , winning just a single set in Premier and slam events on clay against top 20 ranked players and is 19-35 lifetime in slams against top 100 players.

Agnieszka Radwanska to win 2-0 in sets 1.98 Pinnacle Sports/Sportmarket Pro

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31st May 2016, 07:49 PM
French Open: Stanislas Wawrinka - Albert Ramos

We sided with defending champion Stan Wawrinka through the quarters/semis and final last year, when he played out of his skin and beat Federer, Tsonga and Djokovic, he was a man on a mission and had promised something "special" at Roland Garros for months in advance. That is covered in my preview of his match with JWT and you can read or re-read those notes at the very foot of this email. I guess he is not quite as motivated this year, that would be close to impossible, but winning major titles is addictive and it is hard to give up something you own without a fight ! The draw has been kind and he will certainly not fear Ramos-Vinolas today and he cannot face Novak until the final.

No one has been more shocked by the progress of Ramos-Vinolas than the man himself and the 28 yo Spaniard has won a lot of fans by his open and honest interviews in Paris, he demolished Milos Raonic in the last 16, losing only 10 games. He has a "suspect" backhand and was supposed to get nervous, but showed few signs of either in an "easy win". However, Raonic did not give ARV the chance to get nervous by putting any real pressure on him and was too impatient to turn defence into attack and made far too many unforced errors in making the transition. Also, Ramos is a leftie and Raonic is 39-14 this year and 282-141 lifetime on Tour, but 4-4 and 29-25 respectively against left handed players and is clearly not as comfortable playing "southpaws".

Wawrinka is 18-5 since the start of 2014 versus lefties and 8-3 in the last 12 months, with all three losses coming against his nemesis in Rafael Nadal , last of those wins was just 14 days ago, when he actually beat Ramos 6-1 6-1 in Geneva. The Spanish player only won 25 points, just 13 of 32 on serve and he is very much, despite what he has achieved here, a journeyman player and in four previous visits to RG had only reached the second round ( and no further) once and at 28 yo he is not going to find huge long term improvement and sooner or later and it will be sooner, he will awake from this dream !

Having discussed how poorly he played against Wawrinka in Geneva, lets look at a h2h game in which he played well, the two met in the opening round at the US Open last year, Ramos played above himself, served well and Stan was a touch sub par, but the Swiss man still won by five games and in straight sets. He is 6-0 in h2h matches, 4-0 on clay, it can be close, but Ramos will have to again raise his game and Wawrinka have a bad day and for both to happen seems unlikely.

Stanislas Wawrinka -7 games 1.95 Pinnacle Sports/Sportmarket Pro

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