Sunday, June 02, 2013

Day 8 Roland Garros Update

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Pavel, Baghdatis, Moya, Ferrero, Kiefer, Haas, Berdych, Berdych, Gicquel, Djokovic, Youzhny, Haas, F.Lopez, Berdych, Benneteau, Hewitt, Andreev, Berdych, Haas, Soderling, Robredo, Hewitt, Wawrinka, Melzer, Melzer, Robredo, Wawrinka, Youzhny, Monaco, Tomic, Goffin, Malisse, Fish, Raonic and Simon.

Federer has reached a frankly ridiculous 36 slam quarters in a row now going back to the French in 2004. That includes a year he played with mono and still made three slam finals, winning one in '08. Anyway, the list above are the 36 opponents he has defeated in chronological order. That is a big lineup and yet Federer is -like some kind of eternal being- still making quarters routinely. For me ,though, the scariest Fed fact is that he has been to at least five finals at all four majors. Think about that sheer consistency and level of skill.

Anyway, enough of Fed's completely ridiculous records. I have one from the women's side courtesy of Todd- since the 32 seedings at slams started way back in 2001 at Wimbledon, no woman has ever reached back to back quarterfinals whilst being unseeded at both except for Sveta Kuznetsova, who achieved it here and at the Aussie. She plays Serena and that may not be a demolition job, but then again Serena never forgets.

The junior competitions have started and 12th seeded Montgomery of South Africa lost in straight sets in the boy's first round. Fifteenth seeded Cameron Norrie of GB went out in straights, too. Kyrgios, the top seed, went through with few problems, however.

In the Doubles, thirteenth seeded Benneteau and Zimonjic fell to Kas and Marach. The second seeds and the sixteenth seeds progressed.

Which big seeds fell in the men's singles? #11 Almagro fell and Ferrer sent #23 Anderson packing. #15 Simon went down, but not too quietly.

MARQUEE MATCH: Federer def. Simon
...Simon has the ability to consistently find Fed's backhand but he can go into his shell and be very passive indeed, which is what happened in the first set. He lost it 6-1 and it looked like a routine match for the goat. But then he fell and it seemed to knock his rhythm out, which let Simon come back to take the next two sets 6-4, 6-2. But Fed regained his composure to win 6-1, 4-2, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in about 3 hours, ten minutes. He also hit a ridiculous round the net post winner in the process, too. Simon lost in five to Fed at the Aussie a couple of years back, as well. Perhaps, Tsonga sees an opportunity here to punch through the armour of the Goat...only time will tell.
ROSOL MOMENT: Tommy Robredo , ESP
...This match takes a bucket-full of awards for today. So I'm going to use this section to shamelessly plug Jim Courier. I liked him as a player but never really followed him big time. I don't know much about him in general, but as a commentator and pundit for British TV this week, he has been funny, witty and generally a breath of fresh air. Some of his gems include "and the crowd go mild" and having an 'argument' about the pronounciation of Djokovic. it's clear he just loves the sport and is an all round top guy. I should have done a pundit award. Hmm, maybe for Wimbledon which is actually really soon. Wow.
ISNER-MAHUT WANNABES: Tommy Robredo/Nicolas Almagro, ESP/ESP
...It's good that Isner doesn't win this award again because how Isner could be an Isner/Mahut wannabe is beyond me thinking about it. I do remember him talking about the match and saying "I couldn't remember if I was Isner or Mahut," which was a great quote. Anyway, Robredo and Almagro played for close to four hours which is small fries compared to certain Isner matches I can remember. The sustained level of quality for that period, though, is what I find astonishing. There is something about the one-hander in full flow that is graceful and yet powerful... throw in the fact they are both extremely competent clay courters and you have one heck of a match.
BLINK AND YOU MISS IT: David Ferrer/Kevin Anderson, ESP/RSA
...After an hour and forty-four minutes on court Anderson had probably had enough of Ferrer. Luckily for him, there would only be one more minute, one more unforced error in this 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 shellacking or, if you prefer, beat down. Ferrer had 11 UE to Anderson's 41 whilst still having 28 winners to 25. If you think of it, that's eleven errors in 23 games, which is just less than one error every two games. I would hate to play Ferrer, personally being of little patience and being very inconsistent, too. Anderson never even had a break point chance. Luckily, though, he made back to back slam fourth rounds which goes to show every cloud does indeed have a silver lining even if he would have liked to go down with more respect.
ELVIS AWARD: Tommy Robredo ,ESP
..."He came from two sets down to Monfils to win. He actually played a great match and pulled out top tennis when he had to call upon it, too. His match against Almagro is winnable and I could see him in the quarterfinals here. Either way, it looks likely we will have at least one Spaniard in the semi-final."

I wrote that after he beat Monfils. He is the first man in the Open era and the first since 1927 -the year when John McCain first became a senator- to win three matches in a row from two sets down, saving match points, too. He truly is our Cinderella of the week, but I feel that Ferrer will have just a bit too much for him in the quarters. He is 0-4 in French Open quarters, but he could make it 1-4.
...The French have a particular love for Federer. But the people they love the most are their own. Tsonga, Monfils, and Gasquet are all crowd favourites because they ignite passions and play special tennis, too. If the French had their way, Tsonga would play Gasquet in the final. Anyway they were particularly vocal during the entertaining match between Tsonga and Troicki. Tsonga will now face Fed in the quarterfinals but where will the allegiance of the crowd lie?

I shall now quickly preview some of tommorrow's action...

...I think Kohl will trouble Djokovic for a set and a half here. He is on form and he has beaten Nodjo here before, too, so he knows how to do it. It might even go to four, but I think Djokovic will win a tight first set then start to put the pressure down and he should win in three possibily four here.

I don't know how to predict the Nadal match, but I think he will know he has to turn up for this one and he will. He will beat the Japanese man in three tightish sets.

Despite the fact he will be exhausted, Haas should still be just too good for Youzhny and I think he will progress in four entertaining sets.

Gasquet/Wawrinka is the big match for me here. Gasquet seems to have irked the Tennis Gods somehow. He has got yet another awful slam draw but this time I think he will be too good, especially with that crowd behind him. He should prevail in four long sets to go through to the quarters.

Thankx and visit WTA Backspin.

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