Cepede vs Duque-Marino 03.06.17

French Open, Roland Garros, France, Clay Courts, WTA

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Today sees us continue our coverage of the French Open, Roland Garros and the last 16 women’s encounter between the Paraguayan world number 97, Veronica Cepede and the Colombian wold number 115, Mariana Duque Marino, with both bidding to reach their first Grand Slam Quarter Final.

These two have only met once before, all the way back in 2011 on the hard courts of Troy in the USA, with Cepede winning via a Duque-Marino retirement in the second set. Whilst always worth considering, we cannot draw any conclusions from that H2H comparison, so let’s have a look at how both women reached the Round of 16 this week; Cepede upset Lucie Safarova in Round 1, comfortably defeating the world number 39, 6-1 6-4. Cepede continued her ‘giant-killing’ exploits in Round 2 by beating Anastaia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-6 2-6 6-4. Duque-Marino beat the tricky Irina Begu in Round 1, 7-6 6-4 and then came through an almighty struggle against Magdalena Rybarikova in Round 2. The Columbian lost the first set 1-6 before fighting back to take the second 6-3, the decider was a total roller-coaster with seven breaks of serve in all, Duque-Marino also saved a match point before eventually prevailing 8-6 in nearly two and a half hours. It will be interesting to see how much physical and mental energy that match has taken out of Duque-Marino today.

Let’s start our statistical breakdown in our usual place, by taking a look at how both players serving stats match up; Cepede  this week has won 56% of her service points and held serve 63% of the time. These compare to her recent clay court mean of 57% service points won and 63% service hold. Cepede has been serving at practically her exact clay court mean this week, this is particularly impressive due to the quality of returners she has faced. Duque-Marino this week has won 53% of her service points and held serve 54% of the time. These numbers compare to her recent clay court mean of 53% service points won and 57% service hold. Duque-Marino has the weaker serve of the two players, and she’ll need to be quick to react to the Cepede returns today in order to avoid being broken.

Onto the return of serve, Cepede this week has won 47% of her return points, 52% of her break points and opponents have held 52% of the time against her. These compare to her recent clay court mean numbers of 45% return points won, 44% break points won and opponents holding 61% of the time. Again, impressive numbers this week from Cepede, and these carry some real weight given who she’s played. Duque-Marino this week has won 51% of her return points, 68% of her break points and opponents have held 50% of the time against her. These compare to her recent clay court mean numbers of 47% return points won, 59% break points won and opponents holding serve 56% of the time against her. Duque-Marino is the stronger returner of the two, and her numbers in this department are impressive, she will certainly create opportunities on the Cepede serve today and if she can keep that break point conversion % high then she stands a good chance of gaining a strong foothold in the Paraguayan’s service games.

Off the ground i expect some long and exhausting points today, Cepede will be the more attacking of the two, with Duque-Marino using here athleticism to chase balls down and make life difficult for the Paraguayan. If Duque-Marino serves well, her return of serves will automatically give her a great chance to win this, however if Cepede starts really going after the Colombian’s serve as I expect her to, we could see a really tight match and quite conceivably three long sets.


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