Monday, June 17, 2013

French Open Review

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

I am going to do a rather late French review and then do the ATP review of Queens -which I went to on Wednesday- and Halle later. Firstly, I will recap how the top eight seeds did, then I will go through the various sections for the Daily review, but pick several candidates.

Also, this week the Wimby seedings (Wednesday) and draw (Friday) come out. I think Ferrer will be seeded fourth and he has earnt it, plus it means a blockbuster quarterfinal though, of course, Nadal is more likely to end as year-end number one than anyone else. The only major change in the rankings could be on the women's side. If I were the Wimbledon seedings committee, I would have a think about Sharapova and Azarenka and the way they are seeded. At Wimbledon, Pova is 37-9 whilst Azarenka is 20-7 and Sharapova has been to two finals. However, I would leave them be and if Sharapova gets Azarenka in the draw, then we will be able to see who really is best on grass. I don't think there is anyone in the draw who can stop Serena except maybe on a long shot Petra Kvitova or somone similar who hits red hot form and surprises Serena. Anyway, enough tangenting...

Seed One: Novak Djokovic, SRB
A. He blunted out Goffin in three sets, thrashed Pella, Dimitrov and then edged out Kohl in four close sets. He then beat Haas in a close three-set tussle before coming oh so close against Nadal, and had he taken his chance he would have an A-plus.

Seed Two: Roger Federer, SUI
B-Minus. He looked fantastic till the fourth round where the wheels inexplicably fell off. He fell over against Simon and had to come back from two to one down to win in five. After, that he was very poor against Tsonga, but 36 straight quarters at slam level is an incredible record.

Seed Three: Rafael Nadal, ESP
A-Minus. He was very average in the first few rounds, and was a little lucky to escape in the semis, too. However, it wasn't all luck in the semi and he dominated Nishikori, Wawrinka and Ferrer.

Seed Four: David Ferrer, ESP
A-Plus. He managed to take advantage of Tsonga's surprise victory over Rog and even went into the final having lost no sets. He played pretty much a perfect tournament and did everything he could do in the final despite being outclassed.

Seed Five: Tomas Berdych, CZE
N/A. He got a horror draw of the worst kind and he gave his absolute all, so neither a positive nor negative ranking can be given here.

Seed Six: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA
B-Plus. He managed to beat an out-of-form Fed and he also played a very smooth tournament to get to the semifinals. The bizarre loss to Ferrer is why he gets such a low rating. He really had that final in his grasp.

Seed Seven: Richard Gasquet, FRA
B. He was efficient in reaching the fourth round, including a straightforward straight sets victory over Davydenko. However, as usual, he got a horror draw at a slam and despite putting in everything he had effort-wise, he still came up short.

Seed Eight : Janko Tipsarevic, SRB
C-Minus. Another poor tournament and it looks as if a return to the top ten is unlikely after he slipped out of that elite group.

MARQUEE MATCH: 1st Rd.: Monfils d. Berdych; SF: Nadal d. Djokovic
...These two matches were the two that were circled by every man and his mother. And, thankfully, both delivered and both matches were contenders for match of the year. Watching La Monf! work his bizarre magic against Berdych made me want to go out and play. It was incredible and the quality never went down. I know if I went up two sets to none then threw that away, I would have mentally packed up and lost quickly. But not La Monf! - he somehow managed to take the fifth set 7-5 to go through to the next round where he played another classic against Gulbis.

As for Djokovic/Nadal, it was never even set in stone but tennis fans waited and hoped for the match to arrive. Nadal barely scraped through the opening three rounds and looked very average. Djokovic was supreme meanwhile and came into the match as the slight favourite. Nadal however had other ideas and despite going two sets to one up and having chances to close it out late in the fourth he was taken to a fifth where he was soon down a break. Yet again, with some help from Nole's inability to put away overheads, Nadal came back and Djokovic finally crumbled at 7-8 and fell to 0/40. It turns out that Djokovic can only save match points when he's playing Federer.
ROSOL MOMENT: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/Mikhail Youzhny, FRA/RUS
...Not really an upset but one on paper nevertheless. Tipsy had barely made the third round and was in poor form. He had played badly but won 8-6 in the fifth against Ferver. The Russian , however, had played well and was in form. When they clashed in the third round, it was clear from the off that Tipsy was out of his depth. And so it proved to be as the Russian who prevailed in three easy sets.

Tsonga, though , wins the Rosol Award for upsetting Federer in style in the quarters. He played very well against a slightly off-par Roger. He went for his shot and hit big whilst not making too many errors. It was pretty much perfect from a nerve-less Tsonga.
...This match is the new definition of epic in the dictionary. It had everything- saved match points, great winners, huge serves and the pure will and determination of a man old enough to be the junior champs father. Watching this match nearly bought me to tears -all it needed was Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey- because of the emotion and the drama of it all. It was the classic match and the match I will remember from the French.

Honorable mention- Pella d. Dodig 4-6. 6-4.6-3. 2-6, 12-10.
..Pella stars in back-to-back awards. I was watching this match and, after the rain delays, it just went by oh so quickly. I went for a cup of coffee at the start of set two and when I came back Djokovic was 3-0 up with chances for 4-0. It really was a blitzkrieg.

HM: Ferrer d. Robredo 6-2, 6-1, 6-1; Federer d. Devvarman 6-2, 6-1, 6-1
ELVIS AWARD: Tommy Robredo, ESP
...Two sets down to Sijsling, two sets down to Monfils and two sets down in Almagro in three consecutive matches. This is the scenic route, but if the the scenic route gets you to the quarters then you should still take it. He played three incredible matches in a row and the tears in the fourth round after the win were understandable. But by the quarters he was, much like Jackson Brown, running on empty. It was still an incredible and heartwarming performance from him and he is this slam's Cinderella.
HOME GROWN HERO: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA
...He did it by being himself and he lost it by being himself, but would we have it any other way? Allez Francais!

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