Kenin, Kvitova only seeds left at unpredictable French Open

Paris (AFP) –


Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin is well positioned for a run at a second Grand Slam title this year as the highest seed left in the tournament going into Wednesday's quarter-final with fellow American Danielle Collins.

However, the feisty Collins cannot be discounted in an unpredictable women's tournament where two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova takes on first-time Slam quarter-finalist Laura Siegemund.

Sofia Kenin (USA x4) v Danielle Collins (USA)

Head-to-head: Collins leads 1-0

Kenin has developed a knack of working her way out of trouble in Paris, twice recovering from a set down en route to the last eight.

In her last 16 win over Fiona Ferro she overcame a first-set blip and partisan crowd, displaying a steely resilience while raising her game to another level.

The 21-year-old says she needs "step up" again having reached the quarter-finals of a major for just the second time.

Collins, 26, is a late bloomer after taking the taking the college route in the US, twice capturing the national singles title while at Virgina.

She is another battle-hardened character, notably rallying from a double break down in the final set to knock out 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza in the third round.

The 57th-ranked Collins beat Kenin in straight sets in Adelaine earlier this year and is aiming to match her run to the 2019 Australian Open semi-finals.

"I know that it's going to be another battle and another fun match," said Collins.

Paths to quarter-finals (x denotes seeded player):


1st rd: bt Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

2nd rd: bt Ana Bogdan (ROU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

3rd rd: bt Irina Bara (ROU) 6-2, 6-0

4th rd: bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1


1st rd: bt Monica Niculescu (ROU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1

2nd rd: bt Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-2, 6-3

3rd rd: bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x11) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4

4th rd: bt Ons Jabeur (TUN x30) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Petra Kvitova (CZE x7) v Laura Siegemund (GER)

Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 1-0

Kvitova has yet to drop a set on her return the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the first time since 2012, when she lost in the last four to eventual champion Maria Sharapova.

The Czech admitted to feeling emotional while closing out victory over Zhang Shuai in the last 16, as memories of her comeback from a 2016 knife attack came flooding back.

Kvitova suffered severe injuries to her left hand as she fought off an intruder at her home, but was back on Court Philippe Chatrier just six months later to resume her career.

While Kvitova has won most of her 27 titles on hard courts, three of her past five triumphs have come on clay including the most recent at Stuttgart last year.

She dropped just two games against Siegemund when the pair met in the first round of the 2015 US Open.

Siegemund, 32, won last month's US Open women's doubles titles alongside Vera Zvonareva and is belatedly trying to establish herself in singles.

"It was one big goal for me to make it in singles into the second week of a Slam. That's where I see myself. That's where I want to be," she said.

Paths to quarter-finals (x denotes seeded player):


1st rd: bt Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3, 7-5

2nd rd: bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-3, 6-3

3rd rd: bt Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 7-5, 6-3

4th rd: bt Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2, 6-4


1st rd: bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 7-5, 6-3

2nd rd: bt Julia Goerges (GER) 1-6, 6-1, 6-3

3rd rd: bt Petra Martic (CRO x13) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-0

4th rd: bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 7-5, 6-2