Posts Tagged ‘Roland Garros

30
Apr
12

New Blue clay surface in Madrid?….how about new Pink clay in Paris!!

Picture

It will be interesting to see how things unfold in Madrid, particularly given it is such a major tournament – one of the Masters 1000 events on the ATP World Tour and a Premier Mandatory week for the WTA. Players are also desperate to find good form on the surface ahead of the French Open which is just four weeks away. Whatever the future holds for the blue stuff, the decision to use it has already had an effect on other tournaments.

Organisers at Roland Garros have already announced they will have a pink claycourt during the French Open, although significantly it will not be used for main tournament matches. It is instead being used as more of a publicity stunt – promoting the tournament’s ladies’ day which comes on June 7 when the women’s singles semi-finals are due to take place. Court One will be turned pink and will play host to two women’s legends matches.

Critics say Madrid’s move to blue is also nothing but a PR gimmick, although if that is the case it has certainly worked. We await the verdict of the players with bated breath.

Advertisements
04
Jun
11

Li Na became China’s first-ever Grand Slam singles champion with a 6-4 7-6 (7/0) victory over Francesca Schiavone in the French Open final.

 

Li Na

Picture

With her forehand firing from the get-go, Li was a deserving winner on Court Philippe Chatrier as Schiavone lost her grip on the trophy she had won 12 months before. The Italian launched a comeback in the second set, recovering from a break down to force a tie-break, but once in it she folded as Li claimed her slice of history. Li’s extra power had been tipped by many to be a key factor and that was the case as the match got under way. Using her forehand to great effect, she was soon on top and gained the first break in the fifth game courtesy of her 10th winner of the match. From there served out the set, with Schiavone unable to make much of an impression on her serve. The first-set stats proved how well the Chinese had played – she got 72 per cent of his first serves in and when that delivery did find the target she won 16 out of 18 points.

With a combined age of 60 years and 79 days, it was the oldest Grand Slam singles final since Wimbledon 1998 when Jana Novotna played Natalie Tauziat, but the players seemed determined to put on a good show for the packed crowd and the second set saw competitiveness raised. However, at first it looked as if Li would run away with things. Schiavone lost her serve in the first game of the second set and when Li banged down an ace to save break point in the following game, a Chinese victory looked firmly on the cards. Li had a point for 4-1 in game five but netted uncharacteristically on her favoured forehand. That sparked the Schiavone comeback. She bravely saved another break point in the following game and then struck when Li’s forehand went AWOL again when serving at 4-3. A string of errors from the Chinese left Schiavone bouncing and she was jumping and skipping around the court as she moved ahead in the set for the first time. With Li wobbling, she could easily have lost the set but the sixth seed dug in to force a tie-break, helped when a shot, initially called out, was deemed good when the umpire got down from her chair to inspect. Schiavone was not happy and a point later they entered the tie-break. Perhaps still fuming over that line call, the Italian was never at the races in the breaker, Li playing some sparkling tennis to race ahead. She finished things off when Schivaone sent a backhand long, Li collapsing to the court in delight at her achievement.

Li will climb to world number four on Monday as a result of her win.

 

30
May
11

Novak Djokovic closes in on the #1 ranking as he moves straight into the French Open semi-finals as Fabio Fognini withdraws with a leg injury.

Fabio Fognini

Fognini beat Spain’s Albert Montanes 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-3 11-9 on Sunday to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. But while trailing on Sunday, Fognini winced in pain at the baseline after hitting a serve and clutched his leg. “I’m not really happy right now,” said the 24-year-old. “It’s the best tournament of my career.”

Fognini was the first Italian to reach the men’s quarter-finals at the French Open since Renzo Furlan, who lost to Sergi Bruguera in straight sets in 1995. He was also the first Italian to make it to the last eight at any major men’s tournament since 1998. “The doctors say if I play on Tuesday maybe it can be dangerous,” he added. Djokovic has won all of his 41 matches in 2011 and has an overall winning streak of 43 straight matches, but he will not be credited with a victory over Fognini because the Italian withdrew. The Australian Open champion could meet third seed and 2009 winner Roger Federer in the semi-finals if the Swiss gets through his quarter-final against the winner of the clash between Gael Monfils and David Ferrer. A win for Novak to put him into the final will ensure his status as the new #1 player on the WTA tour!

 

28
May
11

Djokovic extends his win streak to 42-0 with an impressive victory over Del Potro.

Picture

Novak Djokovic moved into the last 16 of the French Open on Saturday as Juan Martin Del Potro’s challenge melted away. Djokovic had looked in a spot of bother on Friday evening when his Argentine foe took the second set to square their third-round match. However, when play resumed in brighter, hotter conditions, Djokovic was clearly the better player as he posted his 42nd consecutive match win thanks to a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory. Despite playing some spectacular tennis in patches, Del Potro faltered at the key moments. Upon the resumption, the former US Open champion blew two break points in the fifth game of the third set and was made to pay. Djokovic grabbed the first chance that came his way – in the very next game – with the Argentine netting tamely.

The second seed went on to take the set before a familiar pattern unfolded in the fourth. Del Potro double-faulted to hand Djokovic a 2-1 lead and in his next service game he sent a backhand wide when break point down. To his credit the 25th seed, on his way back up the rankings following a 2010 season ruined by injury, quickly recovered one of the breaks, setting up the chance by superbly chasing down a drop shot to hit a cross-court winner. However, in the next game he received a warning for a time violation which didn’t help his cause and he duly surrendered his serve for the third successive time. Djokovic finished the contest in the next game, producing an excellent drop shot on match point to clinch his place in the fourth round. Now just four wins short of Guillermo Vilas’ record of 46 consecutive victories, Djokovic will face home hope Richard Gasquet on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.

 

27
May
11

Grand Slams bring out the best in Roger Federer.

Picture

Roger Federer served notice of the danger he could pose at the French Open this year with a stunning performance to beat 29th seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 6-4 6-3 in the third round on Friday afternoon. With Novak Djokovic taking over the fight for world number one with Rafael Nadal, Federer has found himself playing third wheel at the top of the men’s game this season. But, if his form against Tipsarevic is anything to go by, then being out of the limelight has certainly not done the 29-year-old any harm. The Serb is a talented player who always raises his game against the best, as Federer knew only too well from an epic third-round encounter they had at the Australian Open in 2008.

Many pundits predicted a tough test for the Swiss but Federer was having none of it and promptly blazed his way through the first set in 19 minutes. Everything was working perfectly for the third seed, who looked completely at ease on the clay, and he was playing so well that is was a surprise when he missed a few backhands in the second set. He broke in the fifth game, though, and allowed Tipsarevic only one break point, which he saved with a big serve. Another break of serve at the start of the third set meant the game was almost up for Tipsarevic, who had lost only 11 games in the first two rounds.

 

26
May
11

Kim Clijsters suffered a meltdown as she crashed out of the French Open on Thursday.

Picture

The reigning US and Australian Open champion lost 11 of the last 12 games as she was beaten 3-6 7-5 6-1 by Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus. Things had looked to be going to plan for the world number two when she led 6-3 5-2 and then moved to match point. However, after failing to convert, the spectacular collapse began. Errors flowed from the Clijsters racquet, including many off the oft-fearsome forehand wing. The Belgian’s lack of preparation – she had not played since March prior to her first-round match in Paris due to a host of injury problems – was stark as she handed Rus victory.

 

25
May
11

“I’m very happy winning the match. It’s probably my first win apart from juniors at Roland Garros,” said Marino.

Canada’s Rebecca Marino opened her French Open main draw with a 6-3, 6-3 victory Sunday over Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine. The 62nd-ranked Vancouver native was making only her second appearance on any court at Roland Garros after losing a qualifying match a year ago. “I don’t think there was anything special I did today. I just felt I served really well and that always helps me. I played pretty confidently.” But Marino’s start in Paris was a solid effort, with the 20-year-old never in trouble against her No. 113-ranked opponent. The match was only Marino’s third at any Grand Slam after winning a round at last year’s U.S. Open and again in Australia in January. Marino reached the second round in just 57 minutes, striking four aces to the four double-faults of Bondarenko. The Canadian had 13 unforced errors and broke on four of her nine chances while saving the only break point she faced. She next faces Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who defeated Israeli Shahar Peer 7-6 (4), 6-1.

 

25
May
11

Easy passages for Stosur and Wozniacki into the 3rd. round.

Picture

Sam Stosur became the first player to reach round three of this year’s French Open on Wednesday. The 2010 runner-up eased past Simona Halep 6-0 6-2 at Roland Garros to move into the last 32. Stosur’s attacking game was again in evidence as she used her famous kick-serve to good effect, often coming to the net to nail down points. The Australian was only ever tested for a brief spell in the second set as she moved through to a meeting with claycourt specialist Gisela Dulko, who beat 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-2.

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the third round of the French Open, needing almost two hours to defeat Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-2, 7-6 (6) on Wednesday. Wozniacki saved three consecutive set points in the tiebreaker but finally prevailed when her opponent sent a forehand volley into the net on her first match point. Wozniacki again played with a bandage on her left thigh and never looked comfortable on court, making 24 unforced errors. The Dane had her left leg treated during her victory in the final of a clay-court tournament in Brussels last weekend.

 

 

24
May
11

“Oh Yeah” Ivanovic falls at the first hurdle of the 2011 French Open on Tuesday.

Picture

Three years on from the greatest moment of her career, the Serb lost a see-saw contest 7-6 (7/3) 0-6 6-2 to Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. It was a clash in which Ivanovic’s go-for-broke approach failed to reap dividends, aside from a period of mid-match dominance. After dropping a closely-contested first set on a tie-break, Ivanovic did manage to find her range in the second. She raced through that to love in just 25 minutes and headed into the decider as the favourite. However, the unforced errors soon returned to Ivanovic’s game – she would finish with a total of 45 to her opponent’s 16 – and she struggled to make an impact with her return of serve. Larsson duly capitalised to set up a second-round meeting with Ekaterina Makarova.

Maria Sharapova swept into the second round of the French Open for the loss of only three games against Mirjana Lucic. The Russian, who will complete her set of Grand Slam titles if she lifts the title on the Paris clay, won the last nine games to cruise through 6-3 6-0 in 56 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier. Sharapova is returning to something like her best form after a lengthy struggle with shoulder problems and she marked herself out as a potential title contender by winning the prestigious warm-up event in Rome earlier this month.

 

 

23
May
11

French qualifier shocks Berdych for his first win at Roland Garros.

Tomas Berdych became the most high-profile casualty of the French Open to date as he fell to French qualifier Stephane Robert in five sets. The Czech eighth seed, who beat Andy Murray en route to the semi-finals in 2010, raced into a two-set lead. But 31-year-old Robert, ranked 140th, came back to win 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 9-7 in three hours and 23 minutes.

Elsewhere, Juan Martin del Potro, Mikhail Youzhny, Viktor Troicki and Thomaz Bellucci all posted victories. It was, however, Robert’s stunning triumph over 25-year-old Berdych that stole the headlines. The right-hander had never previously won a match at Roland Garros and this was only his second win in eight Grand Slam appearances. It was also only his second win of the season on the ATP World Tour and earned him a second-round meeting with Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who overcame Denis Istomin 6-4 6-2 6-2.

 




Top Posts

Categories


%d bloggers like this: