The 2018 French Open quarterfinals are set and I must admit there is some disappointment that Serena Williams is not amongst the remaining eight. Unfortunately, Williams suffered an injury to her pectoral muscles, which hampered her serve and forced her to withdraw prior to her match against Sharapova.
 Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Angelique Kerber (GER)
Halep holds a slight 5:4 edge in their head-to-head; however, Kerber has won their only meeting on clay. Perhaps that is enough to give her the slight advantage; yet, fresh in Halep’s memory is her defeat of the 2-time major champion at the 2018 Australian Open. However, all the pressure to produce is on Halep’s shoulders, which leaves Kerber free to play with abandon.
 Garbine Muguruza (ESP) vs.  Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Their head-to-head favors Sharapova 3:0. Sharapova won the two previous times they played on clay; however, both are former French Open champions now and that should make for an interesting match this time around. They both got a break in the round of sixteen; thus, they should be fresh and ready for the battle. There is more pressure on Muguruza’s shoulders as much more is expected of her as the higher ranked player. Perhaps the Spaniard has the added incentive of not wanting to lose four straight times to her opponent; however, Sharapova is known for icy determination and will not concede defeat easily.
 Sloane Stephens (USA) vs.  Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
Stephens has won a major before and likes to play on the big stage; however, this is the first time that both players have made it to the quarterfinals of the French Open. Kasatkina has shown us that she is susceptible to feeling the negative effects of pressure; however, she has also shown us that she has enough weapons in her arsenal to counter the nerves. The question is does she have enough to counter the effects of a determined Stephens? Their head-to-head is tied 1:1, with Stephens winning their only meeting on clay.
 Madison Keys (USA) vs.  Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
Putintseva has never won a singles title; yet, she has managed to threaten the top players and knows that she can defeat them. She won their only encounter; however, that was on hard court, which may work in her favor. Keys has a lot to prove and a win here will boost her confidence tremendously that her wrist is fully healed if it can stand up to the grueling challenge of playing on clay. Both will be motivated at the prospect of getting to the semifinals of a major and that may favor Keys who has been to the semifinals (2015 Australian Open) and final of a major before (2017 US Open).
SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally originals (Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Daria Kasatkina)