Archie went 3 for4 yesterday, not so bad for a dog who has never picked up a racquet in his life.
Three out of four ain't so bad. In fact, if you had bet with Archie yesterday, you would have made some money. P.S. Archie would like you to know that he had Murray over Chela, even though I didn't have time to put a post up for it. He also said if you didn't pick that one correct you seriously need to ask yourself if you really know anything about tennis.
See Archie's Azarenka-Li Pick Here
See Archie's Nadal-Soderling pick Here
See Archie's Sharapova-Petkovic Here
Without any further ado, here is Archie's pick for the Schiavone-Bartoli semifinal.
Archie's Pick: Schiavone
Why: Because Archie gets the feeling Francesca would be generous with table scraps and he also feels that she'd rub his belly lots. In other words, Franny is Archie's kind of girl.
My Pick: Schiavone
Why: I think this is going to he a very closely contested match between two of the most intense women in the game today. Both were not given much consideration in the weeks leading up to the draw, as Bartoli hasn't ever been known as a clay-court player (86-66 career record) and Schiavone has had trouble winning matches, let alone tournaments, this spring.
But something magical has occurred for both Tour veterans. Schiavone just seems to connect with the Terre Battue (it's utterly amazing and awe inspiring, at least for Archie and I) and she has come to life again at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, Bartoli is only the 4th Frenchwoman to reach the Roland Garros semis in the Open Era, and she's done it the hard way, going the distance in three of her five matches so far.
I'm not sure how much we can really glean from the pair's previous matches, as none have been played on clay and their most recent match was a straight sets win for Schiavone at Wimbledon in 2009.
Schiavone will have to keep Bartoli on the run to survive her lethal double-fisted groundstrokes, because if she allows Bartoli the freedom to take balls early and dictate play things could get ugly. Just ask Svetlana Kuznetsova how ugly. But Schiavone, while not overly powerful, is very adept at making her opponent move. Look for her to keep Bartoli at bay by mixing pace, spin and location, and by finishing points at the net when Bartoli isn't able to get good wood on the ball.
On paper it seems like Schiavone will be too much for Super Marion, but given the immense emotional euphoria that Bartoli has been experiencing here in her home Slam, she could be sparked by the crowd and her own adrenaline and play out of her skull to get the win.
This ought to be some knock-down drag-out tennis, and it's thrilling to see two of the Tours most fearless battlers taking the spotlight on Chatrier.