RG2011 Day 3 (by PJ): And the Rest of Them Rolls
To say that there is a fair bit of controversy going around the fact that ITWA has managed to get Roland Garros to cock-block the availability of players’ press transcripts is a massive understatement. I thought about writing something about this for the Fence, but then again, I’m hardly a tennis blogger/writer, I’m in all honesty just a
obsessive rabid insane nutters fan with only a casual interest in writing about tennis. Plus the fact that I can’t come up with anything more intelligent than “you all are a bunch of dictatorial wankers” so I will leave it to Dootsie, who is bona fide blogger and is more eloquent with the written word than I’ll ever be, especially on this issue.
So moving onto Day 3 wrap (Day 4 is well underway as I write this – and Pants had just won comfortably, through to the 3rd round and facing one of my least favourite people, meh).
1) When Rafa was trying to claw his way through a very determined John Isner, Bobby Sod Soderling breezed through his first set with Ryan Harrison with a bored, dismissive air that suggested nothing less than a fast, straight-sets win. Not so. In midst of biting down my thumbnail over Rafa/Isner, Sodders found himself down a break in the second set.
He eventually broke back, but Harrison doggedly hung on to snatch the second set in a tie-break. Third set went Sod’s way, and the fourth seemed to be heading the same direction as well with an early break on Harrison’s service. But Sod soon found himself broken back, and it was neck-to-neck until an error from Harrison’s forehand earned The Yoker the break, and he served out the set without difficulty. Not a scare as major as Rafa’s – but still a scare nonetheless. Hey, Soddy, I need you to hang around a little longer for this tournament so don’t go around losing sets and matches.
2) Mandy Mooray won his match easily, playing French qualifier Eric Prodon. I didn’t watch the match, but post-match articles suggested that he was sluggish and not focusing very well. That sort of reminded me of his match against Stakhovsky in Australia – where he was grouchy and distracted but won convincingly anyway. It’s a Slam – I don’t think we’ll seeing much of Practice-Match-Andy. He’ll be fine.
3) Fetus Fed Dimitrov continues to try and find his ground among the big boys, losing to French headcase Jeremy Chardy in straights.
4) Hairbandwagon rolls on with Alex Dolgopolov scoring a comfortable straight-sets win over Rainer Schuettler, oldest player in the top 100 at the age of 35. I don’t think it’s an indication as where Dolgo is for the tournament – Schuettler was hardly a test. The thing with him is that he plays such aggressive, high-risk tennis that can be a train-wreck (and HAS been a train wreck more often than not all clay season thus far) if his crazy is not working for him. It’s hard to read him for now. I don’t think he’s lazy or that he doesn’t care – he wants it, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem like he wants it ENOUGH. For now, it seems like he’s lacking that sort of drive and focus that one MUST have if one wants to be at the top. He still has time to prove that his AO run isn’t a fluke, and I’m waiting – WANTING – for him to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.
He plays Andreas Haider-Maurer (cool name but I have no idea whossat) next and am I worried he’ll lose? Err, yes. On paper he should win, SO PLEASE WIN OKAY.
5) The Fernando Verdasco who can play tennis showed up long enough to beat Juan Monaco in four sets – exceeding my expectations, as I was sure he would somehow manage to fart away significant leads to end up losing. His year and his tennis has been really unspectacular so far – taking a fast nosedive out of the top 10 since beginning of the year, and if he loses early in Roland Garros, he’s out of the top 20 even.
6) Other Spainiard Nicolas Almagro fell to Lukasz Kubot in 5-sets. Having watched Kubot at AO this year, the guy CAN play but even so, taking out the one of the heirs apparent to the title of the Prince of Clay is quite surprising.
7) Most of the seeds survived – even those that were not expected to, for example, Samurai Sam, who proved that he can still win matches by packing of Philipp Kohlschreiber. Granted Kohli was guy who knocked out Satan last year, this result is a surprise to me. Everyone’s favourite new Frenchie Nicolas Mahut also fell in his hurdle, losing in 4 sets to Kevin Anderson.
8) Shrieky blasted Mirjana Lucic off court, dishing out a bagel in the process. She’s looking good – kit-wise and game wise. Never used to like her, but has warmed to her over time. Here’s to hoping she goes far.
9) Ana Ivanovic – apparently injured – lost to Johanna Larsson in three sets, after serving a bagel in the second. I…actually don’t know how she’s still relevant anymore in the scheme of things, girl can’t seem to string herself together for the last two years. But I can’t honestly say I care a lot about Ivanovic so moving on.
10) Aussie girls continued to roll, with Jarmila Gadjdosova scoring a win over Virginie Razzano in an emotional, heart-rending match. Both girls had just lost their significant half in very different ways – Jarka through divorce, and Virginie through death. Virginie’s bravery and heart was the one thing that stood out brilliantly in her loss.
“Me playing here was a decision from my fiancé. He wanted me to continue my life. He wanted me to play here and keep fighting on the court. With my family and friends here and the public, I tried my best to keep my emotions and play for him. It took me a lot of courage to go on Court Philippe Chatrier. It was difficult for me to be here. It was painful, it was hard, but I did it for Stéphane.
“He had faith in me. He knew I had this strength he also had, and this is why we worked so well together. We had courage. We fought together day after day.
“It’s difficult, especially when you lose someone who was – and who will forever be – the man of my life, whom I love and will always love. I have beautiful memories in good times and not so good times. It’s a history that’s alive, that we built together for 11 years. And I’ll continue to build it through my sport, through my passion, tennis, which gives me courage and mental strength.
Source: WTA website
11) Dominika Cibulkova was upset by Vania King, losing in three but seeds for the ladies remained largely intact with Mama Kim leading them into the second round.
And that’s all about Day 3 from this girl’s point of view. I wrote an essay of some sorts on Rafa/Big John, which is found in the post below this one, so clickey if you’re interested.
Day 4 wrap will come, but not today. As Day 4 is still going.