French Open Day 9| Key battles

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French Open Day 9| Key battles

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SportsCafe Desk


Day 9 of French Open 2017 sees two intriguing, equally poised battles in the form of Simona Halep vs Carlos Suarez Navarro and Kevin Anderson vs Marin Cilic. We break down the statistics and take a look at the areas where these two matches could potentially be won and lost.

The French open has reached the crucial stage and every battle is a key battle. But we have selected the best of the best battles from today and given our predictions for these matches.  The predictions are sourced from the newest fantasy game on the block – Nostragamus. If you want to make your predictions and win prizes, click here.

Match 1:  Simona Halep vs Carlos Suarez Navarro:

Q1) Who will qualify for the Quarterfinals?

Simona Halep and Suarez Navarro have met 11 times in their career so far, and Halep holds a 6-5 advantage over Suarez Navarro in those meetings. However, the duo has met thrice in Grand Slams before and Suarez Navarro holds a 2-1 advantage over Halep in those 3 meetings. The pair met as recently as US Open 2016 where Halep beat Suarez Navarro in straight sets, but Suarez Navarro beat Halep in 3 sets when they met in the First Round of French Open 2013. Both Halep and Suarez Navarro are yet to drop a set in French Open 2017 so far and enter this match in red-hot form. Halep would be well aware of the fact that Suarez Navarro's single-handed backhand could prove to be a lethal weapon on clay and she would know that she has to dig deep to progress to the Quarter-final. 

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Q2) Who will commit more unforced errors?

In their 3 H2H Grand Slam matches so far, Suarez Navarro has committed 16 unforced errors per match as compared to Halep's 15 unforced errors per match. In the French Open 2017 so far, Suarez Navarro averages 19 unforced errors per match whereas Halep averages 16 unforced errors per match. In the previous round, Halep committed just 13 unforced errors in her match against Daria Kasatkina and Suarez Navarro committed 16 unforced errors in her victory against the 20th seed Elena Vesnina. This might prove to be a key statistic in the outcome of this match, as the chances are that the more disciplined player might come out victorious in the end.

Q3) What will be the 2nd-serve points win rate for Simona Halep?

In matches played in 2017, Halep has won just 47.9% of her second serve points. Also, in the last 11 H2H matches played, Halep has won 48.5% of her second serve points. However, in French Open 2017, Halep has a 52.7% win percentage on her second serve. This could play a very crucial part in determining the outcome of this match as Halep has already broken serve 18 times at the French Open 2017 so far, and tends to win her matches when she holds serve.


Match 2: Marin Cilic vs Kevin Anderson

Q1) Who will go through to the next round?

In their 6 previous H2H meetings, Cilic holds a 5-1 advantage over Kevin Anderson.  However, Anderson won their previous meeting on clay in 2013 in straight sets. The pair have played each other on clay twice before, and they've both won one match each. In 2017, Kevin Anderson has played 18 matches, winning 9 and losing 9 whereas Cilic has played 23 matches, winning 13 and losing 10. 7th seeded Cilic has made a strong start to Roland Garros 2017 and is yet to drop a set so far. However, Kevin Anderson has already upset Nick Kyrgios and will be looking for another in the form of Marin Cilic. Cilic would also be well aware of the fact that he has never been past the 4th round of French Open before and would try to break the jinx, having fallen 4 times previously in the 4th round.  Anderson, on the other hand, will be looking to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam for only the second time in his career, having previously done so in US Open 2016, where he put up a stunning display to take out Andy Murray.


Q2) Who will hit more aces?

With both players possessing a big serve, this would be an interesting statistic to keep an eye on. Kevin Anderson has served a staggering 58 aces in French Open 2017 so far, including 24 aces in his previous round victory against Kyle Edmund. Cilic, on the other hand, has served 27 aces in RG 2017 so far. However, in their 6 H2H matches, Kevin Anderson averages 10 aces per match whereas Cilic averages 10.3 aces per match. It would be fair to say that the player who comes out all guns blazing on his serve, might just end up winning the match comfortably.

Q3) What will be the rateof break points saved for Kevin Anderson?

Kevin Anderson has saved an impressive 75% of the break points he has faced in 2017. Also, in his 6 H2H matches against Cilic, he has saved 66.9% of the break points he has faced. Adding to that, in his Grand Slam career, Kevin Anderson has saved 65.6% of the break points he has faced. Cilic has already broken serve 16 times in Roland Garros 2017 so far, and Anderson would need to be at his very best to stay out of harm's way and keep his serve intact. 

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