Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Farewell, Russians (With Love)

Well, we had no huuuuuuuuge upsets today, but we certainly had some close shaves in there - and we lost some of my favourite Russians. We said goodbye to Tursunov, Petrova and Safin, and I was saddened by all three.
The match I really want to talk about was the Safin match, because it was massive - 10-8 in the fifth. Josselin Ouanna played out of his skin to take that one - and then Safin played better than I've seen for a while to get back into it, and then it was such a close thing... wow. There has been some major excitement already this tournament, but this has to be one of the best matches of the lot. You rarely think of early round matches being great ones, but they stay with you sometimes: like Kendrick/Nadal at Wimbledon a few years back. Was early on, but oh how I remember it!
Anyway, the very slim chance there was at the Safin siblings both winning the title was annihilated, but Dinara is still cruising along... well, cruising is the wrong word. She's like a missile. She allowed Vitalia Diatchenko a measly two games today - positively generous after what she did to Anne Keothavong. She is looking so nasty it's not even funny. I hope there's some serious quaking going on out there.
The other world number #1, King Rafa of the Land of Clay, was very impressive in his win over Teimuraz Gabashvili - looked like he changed up a gear since he played Marcos Daniel in the opener. But the other major contender in his side, Andy Murray, was a hair's breadth from gong out. Kudos to him for staging a massive comeback from a set and 5-1 down and coming back to win in four, but he should never have put himself in that position to begin with. If Starace hadn't totally choked, things could have turned out much differently. We could have seen our first major upset.
Does Sharapova beating Petrova count as an upset? Nice as it is to see Maria back, I was pulling for Nadia on this one - and given as there is little love lost between the two, I bet Nadia is furious with herself. It was a real battle - 8-6 in the third - and one has got to now worry about whether this has taken too much out of Maria for her to be effective in her third round. Only time will tell, I guess - I have no idea what her fitness is like.
We also farewelled Ernests Gulbis, who will surely take a hit in rankings points after making it to the quarters last year, alas - but other Stars Cilic and Pavlyuchenkova won, so that was good. And Lleyton Hewitt won! He now has the fun task of playing Rafa in the third round... um, yeah, have fun with that one, Lleyton. And one last shout out to an up and comer - Michelle Larcher de Brito, I've got my eye on you. The Portuguese teenager knocked out Jie Zheng... she could be one to watch!
Today's Results
French Open (Roland Garros)
Men's Draw
Andy Murray def. Potito Starace, 6-3 2-6 7-5 6-4
Josselin Ouanna def. Marat Safin, 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 3-6 10-8
Christophe Rochus def. Fabrice Santoro, 6-3 6-1 3-6 6-3
Rafael Nadal def. Teimuraz Gabashvili, 6-1 6-4 6-2
Gilles Simon def. Robert Kendrick, 7-5 6-0 6-1
Radek Stepanek def. Mathieu Montcourt, 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-4
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Nicolas Massu, 6-1 6-1 6-2
Fernando Verdasco def. Philipp Petzchner, 6-1 6-2 6-3
Lleyton Hewitt def. Andrey Golubev, 6-4 6-3 6-1
Marin Cilic def. Dudi sela, 6-0 6-3 6-1
Fernando Gonzalez def. Rui Machado, 6-3 6-2 6-3
Victor Hanescu def. Mikhail Youzhny, 7-5 7-5 7-5
Robin Soderling def. Denis Istomin, 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic def. Feliciano Lopez, 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
Arnaud Clement def. Dmitry Tursunov, 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-1
David Ferrer def. Nicolas Kiefer, 6-3 5-7 6-4 3-6 6-2
Nicolas Almagro def. Ernests Gulbis, 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2
Women's Draw
Alize Cornet def. Maret Ani, 6-4 7-5
Ana Ivanovic def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, 6-1 6-2
Dinara Safina def. Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-1 6-1
Maria Sharapova def. Nadia Petrova, 6-2 1-6 8-6
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Julie Coin, 6-2 7-6 (7-2)
Aravane Rezai def. Polona Hercog, 3-6 6-4 6-2
Victoria Azarenka def. Kristina Barrois, 7-6 (7-1) 7-5
Iveta Benesova def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-1 6-2
Agnes Szavay def. Elena Vesnina, 6-2 6-0
Yaroslava Shvedova def. Arantxa Rus, 6-0 6-2
Olga Govortsova def. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 7-5
Dominika Cibulkova def. Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1 6-0
Gisela Dulko def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 7-6 (7-5) 0-6 6-2
Michelle Larcher de Brito def. Jie Zheng, 6-4 6-3
Na Li def. Timea Bacsinszky, 6-1 6-4
Carla Suarez Navarro def. Lucie Hradecka, 6-2 6-4


Naf said...

I want to know what the eff is going on with Gulbis, Jodi. What's happened to him? Never mind Safin. I'm in mourning.

Jodi said...

You're not the only one who wants to know what the go is with Gulbis! Personally, I think the pressure is just a little too much for him - he's under the weight of a lot of expectation, and he's still only a baby, really. But if he doesn't start winning some stuff soon, I am going to very cross. He started off the year by beating Djokovic, and since then... *wind whistling through* *tumbleweed*

I'm wearing black for Marat today.