Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Roland Garros Day 4: Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

The weather may be the greatest adversary this sport faces. Historically, nothing has altered it. Technologies, rules and equal rights have all had an impact, but nothing has ever challenged our sport. Not doping, not betting scandals and not even boycotts. Coming into the professional era has had no negative aspects, either. This has been a sport that has moved with the times and has never been called obsolete or dull. It has remained the same. Soccer has become more rule-affected. American football is not as physical and has changed massively. Ditto baseball, hockey and even basketball. Apart from sports like skiing, tennis has been one of the few unchanged sports. It’s always been about hitting a ball back and forth.

It’s only enemy has been the rain and other adverse conditions. Some of the most famous matches have been rain-affected. Check out this infamous flood:

And recently, well more recently, there was this:

Yes, it is the outdoor condition that is our greatest enemy. Our best tournaments are all outdoor and if it snows or there is a storm, then it is out of our hands. And tomorrow there will be thunder. So today we enjoyed a full day of play. Of course, the draw is still trying to sort itself out after a wet start, but we are getting there. Shall we see what happened?…

*Suicide Picks*
MS 1st Rd: Sousa d. Dzumhur {W}
MS 1st Rd: Chardy d. Pavlasek
WS 1st Rd: Ivanovic d. Dodin {W}
WS 2nd Rd: Stephens d. Cepede Royg {W}

...The Scot beat the Frenchman 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. It took him some 3 and a half hours to win through and it gives him a total of seven hours on court in three days. So a ninth of his time has been spent playing tennis. Take out his sleep time and the percentage of waking hours spent playing tennis is significant. Luckily his next opponent Karlovic beat Aussie Thompson 12-10 in the fifth. But he still has to play the big Croat. Even on clay that could go four sets. Dr. Ivo is the oldest man to reach the French Open in 25 years. He still managed to hit 41 aces in his match. Murray is making a mountain out of his molehill of a draw and Karlovic is the last person he wants to see across the net. While Murray lost serve five times, he did hit 46 winners to 45 errors. Still, he has to win more than 50 per cent of second serves against Karlovic. He did not do so against the French qualifier Bourgue. Bourgue, of course, has had a magnificent tournament it should be said.
...This is a great match on paper. In reality it lasted just an hour and forty minutes. Raonic used it as a statement. He blasted by the home favourite 6-1, 7-6[0], 6-1 to seal a third round meeting with Slovak Martin. He most likely meets Sock after that. His way through to the quarters is clear. He made it to that stage back in 2014, losing to Djokovic. He was seeded 8th then, too. This year he would meet Wawrinka in the quarters if seeds hold. He broke four times, hit 33 winners and just 17 errors. He also faced no break points. His game was tighter than his hair. He also won some 70 per cent of second serve points. This was a very impressive match but can he do it again?
...The Japanese and Swiss number two met on Lenglen with Wawrinka winning 7-6[7], 6-3, 6-4 in a tight affair. The Swiss has now won six matches in a row and all on red clay. It was closer than the scoreline indicates with Wawrinka needing to win the last four games to come through. But win them he did. He is starting to fire on all cylinders now. And it’s a good thing he is; he faces nought but seeds from here on out. Next is Chardy and possibly Simon. Afterwards comes Raonic and Murray. Win those and Djokovic is in the final. He did hit 62 winners today and broke four times. The break of his serve and 40 errors seem pretty excusable. 12 aces give Wawrinka 21 for the tournament, which is good enough for 5th overall. If his serve continues to fire then so does he. Stan should be able to make the semi-finals, at least.
...Gasquet is through to face Kyrgios with a 6-1, 7-6[3], 6-3 victory. He leads the head to head 4-2. Kyrgios said Gasquet has always been a guy who “has been nice to me” and also said, “I think me and Richard have had some really memorable matches.” Indeed, their Wimbledon matches have both made headlines, though for different reasons. Gasquet is also an impressive 20-7 in third round matches and has made the fourth round in Australia and France four times and six times each in the UK and US. He is very consistently in the fourth round and his biggest weapon against Kyrgios will be that mental ability. It will be that calmness that he possess which Kyrgios does not. Of course, if he makes a fifth French Open fourth round without advancing to the quarters, that is some cause for concern, but that’s a different bridge to cross. He must replicate that 41-23 winner’s mark. He should win, but what an unpleasant draw for both men.
...Shall we have a quick check-in with Nishikori? He defeated in-form Russian 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a clash with Verdasco. It was a tight match, but Kei’s 6 breaks were enough. He also went 31-18 on the winner’s front. Similarly his opponent managed a solid 29-16. It was tighter than it looked and the Japanese man had to sing for his supper here. He could serve a bit bigger, but then that’s always the case. He has two tricky matches next; after Verdasco comes Gasquet or Kyrgios.
...On grass this may have been tricky. On the dirt, however, this was a simple task. Few seeds fell on the first day of play save the 13th. But the top seeds broke three times and never faced a break point on the way to a simple 6-3, 6-3 victory. The top seeds strangely played on court 17. Apparently having the top seeds in doubles does not guarantee a place on a show court. Well, never mind, their time will surely come. If not here then a grand slam will be coming to the Frenchies at some point this year.

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN please.

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