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Sloane Stephens after  winning her fourth round match against  Garbine Muguruza on June 2 (Michel Euler)
Sloane Stephens after winning her fourth round match against Garbine Muguruza on June 2 (Michel Euler)|Associated Press
Tennis

Tennis Tuesday - Abrams on French Open Women’s Quarterfinals: Stephens vs. Konta, Vondrousova vs. Martic

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

FRENCH OPEN
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Women’s Quarterfinals

Sloane Stephens over Johanna Konta
Finally! Sloane Stephens finally played the way she is capable of in dispatching Garbine Muguruza in the Round of 16 here in Paris. She served like a major league pitcher, mixing up power and placement while continually hitting her spots, hit her groundstrokes like cannons, with both power and depth, and moved like the Olympic track athlete she could be. If she continues to play like she did in her last match, she will not only beat Britain’s resurgent Johanna Konta, but she will win this tournament. Period.

Marketa Vondrousova over Petra Martic
History rarely matters when you get to the quarters of a Grand Slam event, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that Petra Martic holds a 4-0 advantage over the teenager from the Czech Republic. Martic has won three matches on hard courts, but her one clay court victory came just weeks ago in the finals in Istanbul, Turkey. I love the way both of these players play, and they each are obviously playing fine tennis. I’m going out on a limb and picking Vondrousova. Why? Well, when players (or teams) of equal ability play, it’s unusual for one player or team to dominate the other. This match-up isn’t like Federer playing a qualifier where you’d expect Federer, the better player, to dominate. These two ladies are great professionals, and I think it’s time that Vondrousova starts to even out their rivalry. If Martic wins this match I will admit that they are not equals, but that the Croatian native is the better player.