Un, Deux, Trois: Vondrousova, Martic, Konta eye unlikely Paris title

Un, Deux, Trois: Vondrousova, Martic, Konta eye unlikely Paris title

Three players with plenty of clay-court confidence coming into Roland Garros now find themselves in the quarterfinals.

The big names have disappeared and opened up holes of opportunities for many. Week two at Roland Garros is underway and it's off to an exciting start, these are the three takeaways from Day 8. 

1. Valiant Vondrousova 

Not everyone may have been familiar with 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova when she arrived at this year's Roland Garros, but everyone is watching her now. Dropping zero sets, Marketa Vondrousova has eased past all four of her opponents in conceding no more than four games in the eight sets she's played. On Sunday, she continued her comprehensive run by defeating 12th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, 6-2, 6-0, in dominating fashion. 

 

She's peaking at the perfect time and is having an impressive year thus far, recently making the final of Istanbul. The Czech showed everyone at Indian Wells she can beat a variety of quality players, snatching wins over Daria Kasatkina, Jelena Ostapenko and Simona Halep in succession; she later added a second victory over reigning French Open champion Halep on the red clay in Rome.

Vondrousova is slated to battle Petra Martic, the woman who bested her in the Istanbul final to increase her perfect record over the left-hander to 4-0. However, Vondrousova is playing her best tennis and her ability to keep opponents guessing is a significant weapon. As she prepares for her first quarterfinal on the Grand Slam stage, will she feel overwhelmed or will her composure clear the path to victory?


2. Martic backs up Pliskova win 

It appeared that Martic could exit Roland Garros in the fourth round like she did the two previous times she reached this stage. The Croatian was determined not to let that happen, turning things around to win, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, against Kaia Kanepi.

"I waited for this moment so, so long I don't even want to know how long" said Martic.

 

The No. 31 seed went down a break in the third, and faced two break points down 3-4, but her confidence held firm to surge ahead of the Estonian. Martic, who handily defeated Rome champion Karolina Pliskova in her previous match and picked up her first WTA singles title in Istanbul, looks to be riding that wave of success in Paris as the WTA's season leader with 15 clay-court wins.

The 28 year-old will attempt to continue her impressive run against Vondrousova, who won the first set 6-1 in their Istanbul clash before Martic rallied for a hard-fought victory. The odds on paper are in Martic's favor but this French Open continues to reinforce that anything is possible. 


3. Konta flying British flag

Johanna Konta had never won a match in four attempts at Roland Garros coming into Paris this year. She's now in the quarterfinals after defeating Donna Vekic.

Konta came out firing and allowed limited openings for the Croatian in a 6-2, 6-4, victory. Konta was already the first British woman to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since 1983, but she's just one win away from tying Jo Durie’s achievement of making the semifinals 36 years ago. In her last two encounters with Vekic, the Brit came up short.

 

"I thought I played the game well. I think I was able to identify where I was getting points and what was kind of making her feel uncomfortable on court or even I thought I played into the open spaces quite well. I thought I was able to find opportunities to do that," Konta said afterwards.

Although a tough loss for Vekic, she comes out of this tournament with positive takeaways. She put together a strong win over world  No. 15 Belinda Bencic and slid her way into the fourth round at Roland Garros, something she had never accomplished until now. 


Catch up on Week 1 at Roland Garros on the TENNIS.com Podcast: