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2009 French Open - Nick's Picks - Women's Singles Round 4

Stay tuned for updates throughout the French Open as Nick's Pick will bring you daily analysis and predictions!

Jelena Jankovic (ESP) vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)

Jankovic has yet to drop a set in any of her three matches, and has moved through the draw quietly. Many people forget that she is a two-time semifinalist here and has had solid results on clay in the past. Don't discount Jankovic's chances of winning this title because she is more than capable of beating anyone.

Cirstea is making her first appearance in the fourth round of any Grand Slam. Before this tournament, the 19-year old had never been out of the second round of any Grand Slam she had played in. She reached the semis in Marbella and the quarters in Estoril (both clay court tournaments) before the French.


This is the first career meeting between Jankovic and Cirstea. This match is on Jankovic's racket. If she plays her game she will win. She has the experience, the know-how, and is finally looking like the player she was last year. Cirstea is tough though and has picked up good wins over Cornet and Wozniacki in the last two rounds so I wouldn't be surprised to see this match go three sets. Look for Jankovic to use her excellent movement and fantastic two-handed backhand to control the match and advance.

Nick's Pick - Jankovic in 3 sets

Serena Williams (USA) vs. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)

Serena cannot stay away from controversy right now. Before the French she called out Safina and then in her last match she claimed her opponent cheated. She needs to focus on what she can do and forget about everyone else. When Serena is on and healthy there is no one better.

This is already Wozniak's best showing ever at a Grand Slam. The 21-year old Canadian comes into the tournament ranked #24 in the world, which is her career high, and she did reach the finals in Ponte Vedra Beach on clay back in April. In her three wins so far at Roland Garros, she hasn't played anyone inside the top-50.


Wozniak and Serena have met once before, and Serena had to retire in that match after losing the first set and being down 3-1 in the second. I don't think that will have any bearing on this match at all. Serena isn't at the top of her game right now, but even at 85% she is still better than most on the tour. Wozniak is a big girl who strikes the ball very well and she will not be intimidated at all by Serena. I think Serena knows that she needs to step it up now and play her best and that is bad news for everyone else!

Nick's Pick - S. Williams in 2 sets

Dinara Safina (RUS) vs. Aravane Rezai (FRA)

Coming into the tournament there was a lot of chatter about who is the best player in the world: Safina or Serena. Well, I think Safina has shown that right now she is. Coming into this match against Rezai she has lost a total of four games in six sets! That is incredible and just a testament to how well she is playing and how determined she is to get her first Grand Slam title.

Rezai defeated Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy student Michelle Larcher de Brito in the third round and is looking to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. The 22-year old Frenchwoman just won the title in Strasbourg on clay right before this tournament began.


This is the first career meeting between Safina and Rezai and promises to be an interesting match. Rezai is a strong girl who stands at only 5'5”. She moves around the court very well and will have the crowd on her side throughout the match. Safina cannot let Rezai and the crowd get under her skin, because her biggest problem is losing focus and committing too many unforced errors. So far that hasn't been a problem, but we have seen episodes in the past where Safina has gone from great to so-so in a matter of seconds. If she doesn't let that happen then I see her moving on, if Rezai can get her frustrated then who knows!

Nick's Pick - Safina in 3 sets

Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. Na Li (CHN)

Sharapova has surprised just about everyone with her play at the French. Having had that long lay-off due to the shoulder injury and with only a couple of matches under her belt this year, no one knew what to expect from the three-time Grand Slam champion. Clay has never been her best surface, but Sharapova is a fighter and she will no go down easily!

Li has yet to drop a set thus far at Roland Garros, but she hasn't played anyone ranked inside the top-50 yet. This is the first time she has been to the fourth round of the French Open and she is looking to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the second time in her career.


Sharapova is 4-0 against Li, but they haven't played since 2006. Sharapova has played back-to-back-to-back three set matches and we don't know if that will have any effect on her because of how few matches she has played recently. One thing we do know, she is going to give Li everything she has and more throughout this match. Both girls have excellent groundstrokes that can really hurt their opponents. The key in this match is Sharapova's serve. If it is working then she has the edge, if not then Li will pounce all over it. I give Sharapova a slight edge because I know how she fights, but this should be a great match.

Nick's Pick - Sharapova in 3 sets

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