Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Sixteenth

The first round is complete - well, mostly: there are a few matches that were suspended because of rain, but we're largely there. All of the big guns in both men and women's matches have come through safely to the last 64 - which is a good thing - but we've lost a few of the secondary characters (the medium guns?) which always livens things up a little. We've farewelled Karlovic, Mauresmo and Berdych, among others - today we said goodbye to Schuettler, Blake and Fish from the men, and Peng from the women.
I'll tell you who nearly screwed around with this, though, and that was Serena Williams. She won her first match of the year on clay, beating Klara Zakopalova (does memory serve - she lost to Zakopalova on clay already this year, yesno? At Marbella, maybe?) but it was a near run thing. Three sets, 6-4 in the third. I am not liking the look of her at all at the moment. She's clearly injured and if she makes it to the second week I will be very surprised.
But that's not to say it's impossible. She's Serena, after all.
While we're still on women's tennis I would like to take this moment to point out something I find quite remarkable. Australia had six entrants in the main draw of Roland Garros - two men and four women (I don't think I've left anyone out - apologies if I have!) This is unremarkable in and of itself, but five of them made it through to the second round. Now that is something pretty special for Australian tennis. Bernard Tomic went down to Philipp Kohlschreiber, but Hewitt is through, and all four of our women: Stosur, Dokic, Groth and Rogowska. That would be four Aussies of the final 64 in the women's draw. That means a sixteenth of the draw is Australian. Now that has not happened for a LONG time. Nice work, girls!
I was particularly impressed with Stosur, who overcame Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone in straights. Schiavone is wily and good on clay - that's a good victory. Dokic took a set to warm up but then she breezed past Karolina Sprem. I was very impressed with both of them.
Over to the blokes, and the woes of the Americans continue - Blake and Fish, both American seeds, crashed out to random Argentines: Leonardo Mayer and Maximo Gonzalez respectively. But hey, at least Andy Roddick is into the second round. That's a victory in and of itself. And Alexa Glatch is someone to cheer for.
The match of the day over there was a battle between unseeded old-school veterans, and it was a titanic struggle - the five set epic between Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivan Ljubicic. Now that was a match. Ferrero came out on top, but that was one to remember for both players, I think. There have been a few five set encounters in this first round, but that is one of the best of them. I was sad they couldn't both win!
Today's Results
French Open (Roland Garros)
Men's Draw
Jo-Wilfried Rsonga def. Julien Benneteau, 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4
Novak Djokovic def. Nicolas Lapentti, 6-3 3-1 retired
Gael Monfils def. Bobby Reynolds, 6-2 6-3 6-1
Juan Martin del Potro def. Michael Llodra, 6-3 6-3 6-1
Leonardo Mayer def. James Blake, 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-2
Juan Carlos Ferrero def. Ivan Ljubici, 2-6 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-3
Maximo Gonzalez def. Mardy Fish, 6-3 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Marc Gicquel def. Rainer Schuettler, 6-0 6-0 6-4
Sergiy Stakhovsky def. Brian Dabul, 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-2) 6-3
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Evgeny Korolev, 6-4 retired
Tommy Robredo def. Adrian Mannarino, 6-2 6-1 6-2
Tommy Haas def. Andrei Pavel, 6-1 6-4 6-4
Juan Monaco def. Marcos Baghdatis, 6-3 6-2 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Bernard Tomic, 6-1 6-2 6-2
Andreas Beck def. Ivan Navarro, 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 6-1
Viktor Troicki def. Lukasz Kubot, 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3
Victor Crivoi def. Simon Greul, 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-2
Andreas Seppi def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3 6-3 6-1
Women's Draw
Jelena Jankovic def. Petra Cetkovska, 6-2 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Claire Feuerstein, 6-1 6-4
Serena Williams def. Klara Zakopalova, 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4
Virginie Razzano def. Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3 6-3
Elena Demetieva def. Chanelle Scheepers, 6-4 6-3
Caroline Wozniacki def. Vera Dushevina, 4-6 7-5 6-1
Sybille Bammer def. Nathalie Dechy, 6-3 7-6 (7-1)
Anabel Medina Garrigues def. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 5-7 6-0
Melinda Czaink def. Anastasija Sevastova, 3-6 6-4 6-1
Viktoriya Kutuzova def. Zuzanna Ondraskova, 6-2 6-4
Sorana Cirstea def. Carly Gullickson, 6-4 6-2
Yanina Wickmayer def. Urszula Radwanska, 4-6 6-3 6-0
Petra Martic def. Mara Santangelo, 6-4 6-2
Jelena Dokic def. Karolina Sprem, 3-6 6-1 6-2
Galina Voskoboeva def. Sania Mirza, 6-4 7-6 (7-3)
Magdalena Rybarikova def. Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1 2-6 8-6
Samantha Stosur def. Francesca Schiavone, 6-4 6-2
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez def. Shuai Peng, 1-6 6-2 6-4
Aleksandra Wozniak def. Monica Niculescu, 6-4 4-6 6-3
Virginia Ruano Pascual def. Nicole Vaidisova, 6-4 6-3

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