Carla Suarez Navarro can win The French Open

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To predict the women finalists of this year's French open is difficult.

But if the two who get there can produce as captivating tennis as what was on show in the semi-final in Rome between Simona Halap and Carla Suarez Navarro, tennis fans are in for a real treat.

Three-set matches are a rarity in women’s tennis so it was great to see a match go the distance. Paula Suarez Navarro is quickly becoming a fan's favourite on the women’s tour.

Not only does the Spanish world number eight have the most beautiful one-handed backhand, she also doesn’t grunt like her fellow professional players.

She has the ability to dictate play with either slice or topspin backhands and isn’t afraid to approach the net to finish points off. Keeping opponents off balance and counter-punching her way out of trouble makes her a fine clay court player.

Losing the first set 6-2, Suarez Navarro's slice backhand wasn’t effective against the Romanian; in response of this, she started consistently hitting the backhand with topspin. The resolve of Halap started to crumble and she uncharacteristically smashed a racquet in the middle of the second set out of frustration.

The Spanish number one took the second set 6-3.

The third set was an evenly matched contest, with both players trading breaks in the third and fourth games of the set. But the crucial break came in the 11th game, leaving Suarez Navarro to serve for the match and win 7-5.

Spain may not have a finalist in the men’s final in Rome, but they can be very proud of their women’s finalist, who may even challenge for the French Open title as well, which begins in four days time.

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Maria Sharapova
French Open

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