Sunday, May 29, 2016

Roland Garros Day 8: Thirteenth Time Lucky

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Yes, at the twelfth time of asking, Gasquet has made the quarters of the French Open and is set to rise to eight in the world. With his seeding gaining a boost at Wimbledon, he is certain to be seeded to make the quarterfinals.

But let’s focus on yesterday. Circumstances out of this BACKSPINNER'S hands means a refresh is in order. Spain was the dominant country with a quarter of our entrants hailing from there. One had made it, but how many Comrades will?

Tsonga retired against Gulbis to give the Latvian a fourth round run out of nowhere. Suddenly he can do whatever he wants. He will be seeded at smaller events, perhaps, and hopefully he will find his form. With Goffin defeating Almagro 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, the Belgian and the Latvian will go head to head. Goffin finally has another shot at the quarters here. He could go all the way to the semi-finals.

Zverev again lost to Thiem. This time he once more won the first set but lost 6-7[4], 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Thiem was too good, too impregnable. He is turning into one of the most dependable of the next gen. And Thiem plays Granollers, who benefited from Nadal's withdrawal. And the winner of that plays the winner of the above match.

Berdych plays Ferrer again after he sent his compatriot packing in straight sets. Berdych edged past Cuevas 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. That match tomorrow is going to be an absolute ding-donger. The winner gets a shot at Djokovic. So there is a lot to play for. Swat Djokovic/Bedene aside like you would a fly. Bautista Agut is suddenly in fine form, blowing Coric apart. He will test Djokovic, maybe even take a set.

Well let’s see what else happened on the day...

*Suicide Picks*
MS 1st Rd: Sousa d. Dzumhur {W}
MS 2nd Rd: Chardy d. Pavlasek {W}
MS 3rd Rd: Isner d. Gabashvili {W}
MS 4th Rd: Raonic d. Ramos-Vinolas [L]
WS 1st Rd: Ivanovic d. Dodin {W}
WS 2nd Rd: Stephens d. Cepede Royg {W}
WS 3rd Rd: Kuznetsova d. Pavlyuchenkova {W}
WS 4th Rd:

...It was fifth time lucky in the quarters for Gasquet. He also leads the head to head with Kei 7-2. He trailed 2-4 in the first set of his four set win, but then the rain came. He recovered and raced out to a 6-4, 5-1 lead. From there he hung on to record a 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory. Falling to his knees afterwards, Gasquet relished the victory he has waited so long for. Only Federer has ever defeated him in a slam quarter and he has taken Murray to five here before. He may be 3-7 in their head-to-head, but those wins have come on French soil or clay. Gasquet has now reached the quarterfinals of three grand slams, a magnificent record. Against Nishikori he hit 6 aces and 36 winners in total. While Kei hit four more winners, he also hit 45 errors. The Frenchman hit only 19. He needs to replicate this performance against the Scot because he will never progress unless he can be consistently aggressive and keep the errors down. Also 13 break point opportunities is what he needs to be getting against Murray. Kei was off his game but he will be back.
...Well there was THIS. And there was also the defending champion moving into the quarterfinals. It took three hours for the Swiss to win 7-6[5], 6-7[9], 6-3, 6-2. His opponent did struggle with injuries, but Stan looked determined to at least make a decent fist of his defence. Wawrinka served 19 aces and hit 67 winners in total. While he did hit 50 errors, that at least is expected. Wawrinka likes to go big so you expect some errors. The most impressive stat? He won more than 60 per cent of Victor’s second serve points. It even led to five breaks. This was Wawrinka rounding into form. Up next for Wawrinka is the dangerous Ramos-Vinolas. He has nothing to lose and will be coming at the Swiss with everything he has.
...It was a bug server last time and this. Murray won 7-6[9[, 6-4, and 6-3 in some 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was a surprisingly long match and, perhaps even more surprisingly, Isner hit just 18 aces. Murray must have played some ten hours on court. He is also being very conservative and went just 32-23 on the winners. Isner was 45-57. It has been a great run from Isner, so unflavoured as he has been. But the American had five break points and converted not one of them. Against the best in the world that is unforgivable. But Murray will have to step it up against Gasquet. With so much on the line can Murray hold it together? Will the home crowd give Ritchie an advantage? It is bound to be fascinating regardless. So it’s goodbye to Isner, but he should make the fourth at Wimbledon, too.
...Troubled by a hip injury, Raonic barely lasted two hours. ARV beat him 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. It is a tremendous result for the Spaniard, who rises 23 places to 32. It was a scrappy match with the Spaniard winning 5 breaks to one. There were six breaks in the match but ARV still only hit 25 winners to 13 errors. It was a match where neither wanted to miss. So they both sat back and tried to rally. Some fantastic points ensued and the relative high serve percentage is good, too. Against Wawrinka he has nothing to lose.

Mladenovic lost to Serena 6-4, 7-6[10] but she played well throughout the rain-delayed contest. Sure, the match was always on the American’s racket but it was a gutsy performance none the less. She will be one of the few to win multiple matches in each discipline. In second round women’s doubles she and Garcia beat Johansson/Parmentier 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. The match had an incredible 12 breaks of service. In the second round of the mixed she and Herbert won against Xu/Draganja 6-3, 6-4.

In the ladies doubles, the Williams have gone. The top seeded Hingis/Mirza also lost and badly; 6-3, 6-1. The only other seeded pair left in the bottom half are 9th seeds Xu/Zheng. Tomorrow it is Siegemund/Friedsam. In the mixed it is a quarterfinal against 8th seeds Bryan/Vandeweghe. That’s Bob Bryan, by the way.

Thanks all and visit WTA BACKSPIN please.

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