Google Down the Line!: Stosur stops Henin, Almagro outplays Verdasco in Roland Garros fourth round

Monday, May 31, 2010

Stosur stops Henin, Almagro outplays Verdasco in Roland Garros fourth round

This time Sam Stosur made good against Justine Henin and picked a huge moment to do it.

The Aussie lost a three set tussle to the 7-time Grand Slammer in Stuttgart recently but kept herself calm and composed down the stretch of the pair's fourth round match at Roland Garros today shocking the 4-time champ 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Her high-kicking second serve made a big difference in the match; she won 70% of the points when she had to throw in a second delivery compared to 48% for the Belgian. Sammie will face an arguably tougher test when she battles an in-form Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.

It seems from all outward appearances that Sammie's game is tailor-made for the clay: the exquisite kick serve, the big forehand she can hit either inside out or in with powerful spin and world-class skills at the net to close out points. Add to that her new-found patience and consistency and she'll be a tough road block on ReRe's path to a 13th major title - and the second leg of the Calendar Slam.

As for Justine she clearly needs more time and matches to find the form that took her to 7 Grand Slam titles. Even on her best surface the cracks in her game, particularly the serve, came to the fore. Plus, where did all of her variety go? Bring it back.

Nicolas Almagro caused another upset, though not quite as monumental, when he took out compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in their fourth round match. Nando had been on a tear during the lead up tourneys winning at Barcelona, making the finals at Monte Carlo + Nice and the semifinals in Rome. But Nico played aggressively throughout hitting 40 winners compared to Nando's 22, making 20 of 24 net approaches and converting 6 of 12 break chances.

Great win for Nico but he'll face the biggest test of 'em all if he wants to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal: Rafael Nadal. May the Force (and some luck) be with you young Almagro.

[Photo(s): Getty Images]

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