Venus Williams: Can she finally win Roland Garros?

At ROLAND GARROS, DAY 7 – Do you remember when Venus Williams came to Roland Garros when she was only 17-years-old?

2017 is the 20th time she has played here in Paris. She has been very good, and very bad. Obviously, Venus has won a ton of tournaments, like Wimbledon and the US Open. But not here in Paris. She has been close some years. On clay, she has a phenomenal backhand and her gigantic first serve is still a weapon. Still, at the age of 36-years-old, her superfast speed is fading.

Can she finally win Roland Garros? I doubt it, but she has a chance — a small chance — but a chance.

Let’s review three great wins at Roland Garros over the years, and three awful losses here in Paris.

GREAT WINS
In 2002, she clubs the nine-time champion Monica Seles 6-4 6-3 in quarters.
In 2004, she destroyed Frenchwoman Mary Pierce 6-3 6-1 in the third round. The half American Pierce had won RG in 2000.
In 2006, she was very steady and bested Patty Schnyder 4-6 6-3 6-2. Schnyder said, “I can never win.”
 
BAD LOSES
In 1997, Venus came over to RG for the first time, and she lost 5-7 6-3 7-5 to Nathlie Tauziat. She was extremely upset.
In 2006 in the quarters, she lost 6-7 6-1 6-3 against the big server, the Czech, Nicole Vaidisova.
In 2013, in the first round, she lost 7-6 6-7 6-4 against the Urszula Radwanska. A brutal loss.

On Friday here in RG, she beat Elise Mertens and will face the tricky Timea Bacsinszky on Sunday. If she wins, she will have to play Garbine Muguruza and/or Kristina Mladenovic. That will be very difficult for sure.

THE DEFENDING CHAMP
Muguruza is rolling on and on, as whacked Yulia Putintseva. On Sunday, she will have to go up against Mladenovic, who is red hot. Mladenovic almost lost, but she came through over American Shelby Rogers 7-5 4-6 8-6. The Spaniard Muguruza won RG last year but has been spotty, at best, since. Big battle coming.     
         
Aussie Sam Stosur trounced Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2 6-2, and will face the young player Jelena Ostapenko. Good match here.

THE MEN
Rafa Nadal is playing so well now that it is almost impossible to beat him. Nadal crushed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0 6-1 6-0.

Another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, won, whacking Jiri Vesely. He will play Nadal on Sunday. That is not easy for Bautista Agut, but he has to risk it all or he has no chance to stun Rafa.
                       
Here was an upset, based on seeding. Actually, it wasn’t, because the Spaniard Pablo Carreno loves clay, while Grigor Dimitrov is so-so on the dirt. Carreno won in three sets. He will face Milos Raonic. 

The No. 6 Dominic Thiem is pretty consistent now, with his forehand and backhand, and he doesn’t mind rushing to the net.  He is the favorite against the Horacio Zeballos, but soon, he might have to play Novak Djokovic. Recently, the Serb blew him out in the semis of Rome. Thiem has to change up his tactics ASAP.

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