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Of French and French Speakers

Rédaction Open GDF SUEZ
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 22:12
The World Number 1 and three Frenchwomen are in the Thursday's line-up at the Open GDF SUEZ. While Serena Williams shouldn't have any problems rallying the quarter finals, it should be a different story for the French. Introduction.  

The highlight of Day 4 in the Open GDF SUEZ 2009 will undoubtedly be the match between Alizé Cornet (World Number 13) and Daniela Hantuchova (39th). With two victories behind them, the two champions are practically sure to meet for the 6th time during the Fed Cup France-Slovakia play-off on 25-26 April. This Thursday, they'll be fighting for a spot in the quarter finals. A first for Alizé, it's old hat for Hantuchova, defeated at this point of the competition in 2003 and 2008. Both were very convincing on Tuesday during their entry in competition at Coubertin.

The irony of it all is that they both stood out in 1:04 and conceded the same number of sets (4). Victorious in the last two matches between them, Alizé came out the favourite. Especially since she can count on the Parisian audience to support her, and intends to "fire them up."
Speaking of firing up, Amélie Mauresmo does her fair share at each of her outings at Coubertin. As Parisian fans' genuine idol, the former World Number 1 satisfied her fan club Wednesday by sweeping up Italian Sara Errani with a score of 6-2, 6-0. Against Monica Niculescu, the Frenchwoman had better be careful. The Romanian is indeed on the rise. Classed only 179th early last year, she now occupies the 47th place, the best ranking in her career. Boosted by the audience and the mean game she has belted out since she entered the competition, "Amé" will be a favourite to rally for the quarterfinals for the 9 out of her 10 times at the Open GDF SUEZ.

War of the –enas in store!

Serena Williams made a smooth entry Wednesday against Czech Iveta Benesova. Victorious 6-1, 6-4 in exactly one hour, the World Number 1 should hardly have any trouble Thursday with Karolina Sprem. The qualified Croatian, currently 175th, is far from the level she had in 2004, her best ranked year (17th) and from her quarter final at Wimbledon. With an elbow injury and operation behind her, the 24-year old hopes to get back her old level. Up against the American, she will have a chance to see what sets her apart from the best. As for Serena, she will surely get to try out her French once more in front of the microphone, and to rally for the quarter finals, of course!

Two other Francophiles will be scheduled to play on Day 4 of the tournament. Serbian Jelena Jankovic (n°2) and Russian Elena Dementieva (n°3) should stand out in their games against Chinese Na Li and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Finally, the Swiss Patty Schnyder (n°6) will face Nathalie Dechy in a 100% Francophone quarrel. Prepare to "parlez-vous Français" this Thursday at Coubertin!
Clément Lizet
Translation: Amy Davenport

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