Some big names crashed out today at Roland Garros:
- Number 6 seed Andy Roddick was ousted in straight sets by qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili. I ‘ve seen Gabashvili play twice: once in a Futures tournament in Lille a couple years ago and last Saturday in Roland Garros, when he was playing an exhibition set against Gianni Mina during Benny Berthet Day. I must say he is a solid player but I wasn’t really impressed by his game.
Third round: Rafael Nadal vs Lleyton Hewitt
Head to head: 5-4
2009 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-1, 6-3, 6-1
2008 Beijing Olympics, Hard Nadal 6-1, 6-2
2007 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(5)
2007 ATP Masters Series Hamburg Clay Nadal 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
2006 Queen’s Club Grass Hewitt 3-6, 6-3 RET
2006 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2005 Australian Open Hard Hewitt 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-2
2004 ATP Masters Series Toronto, Hard Hewitt 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
2004 Australian Open Hard Hewitt 7-6(2), 7-6(5), 6-2
Rafa and Lleyton met at the same stage of the tournament last year. Rafa is once again the big favorite, as he became the first player in history to win all 3 clay court Masters titles in a single year and the first player to win 3 consecutive Masters events.
But as always, Nadal won’t overlook his opponent: “We know Hewitt. He’s a very dangerous guy and he plays at a very high level. He’s going to do his best to win, of course.”
Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt will give everything on the court: “He cleaned me up last few times. He’s obviously very dominant, especially on this surface. I’m gonna have to go out there and execute what I want to do, and do it bloody well.”
You can follow here live this match between two former number ones.
A rainy day at Roland Garros.
Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Flavia Pennetta are all through to third round with straight sets win. Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and Madrid winner Aravane Rezaï suffer but qualify in 3 sets against respectively Andrea Petkovic and Angélique Kerber.
On the men’s side, no problem for last year’s finalist Robin Soderling who dismantled Taylor Dent 6-0 6-1 6-1.
A good day at the office too for Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Maric Cilic who ease through third round as well.
Frenchman of the day: Gael Monfils
Monfils lead two sets to love in his match against Fabio Fognini but the italian player came back from the brink to level the match at 2 sets all.
Monfils saved 3 match points at 4-5 in the fifth but the match was suspended by night at 5-5.
Stat of the day: 4
The number of singles matches suspended by night: Fognini-Monfils, Murray-Chela, Granollers-Baghdatis and Isner-Chiudinelli.
Back in the days when Agassi was wearing pink lycra bike pants and a wig.
Agassi was then just a “forehand and a haircut” as Ivan Lendl once said. Coached by Florida tennis guru Nick Bolletieri, Agassi was tennis’ enfant terrible, known as much for his look as his explosive game.
Seeded number 3, Agassi had reached the semifinals of both French and US Open in 1988 and US Open again in 1989. In 1990, he defeated Jim Courier and defending champion Michael Chang en route to his first GS final.
Gomez was the total opposite of Agassi: a 30 year old left handed from Ecuador, he was known for his nice volley touch and science of play on clay. Before 90 French Open, he had never been past the quarterfinals of a major. Beaten three times at this stage of the tournament by Ivan Lendl, Gomez was somewhat relieved by the Czech’ decision to skip Roland Garros to focus on Wimbledon.
Before the final, Agassi said: “Like any good player, the more that’s expected of them, the more they rise to the occasion. I didn’t stay in Paris for two weeks to come in second place”. Unfortunately for him, si. Agassi was favored and expected to overpower the veteran from Ecuador, but he was overconfident, nervous and probably thinking to much about his wig.
Gomez moved to a career high ranking of 4th following his victory in Paris. He retired in 1993. During his career, he amassed 21 singles titles (mostly on clay) and 33 doubles trophies.
Gomez and Nastase at the Trophée des Légendes, June 2007:
And Agassi? He was runner up again in 1991 (lost to Jim Courier). He finally captured the Roland Garros trophy in 1999 after a five set battle against Andrei Medvdev to complete a career Grand Slam.
During his roller coaster career he collected 60 singles titles including 8 Grand Slam titles and one Olympic gold medal.
Check out Tennis Buzz in the next few days for another Andre Agassi related article.
FWOTD #4: ENFANTS (Kids)
The first Wednesday of the French Open is tradionnally Kid’s Day. The stands and grounds of Roland Garros are full of kids running in the allées, cheering for their favorite players and chasing for autographs.
During the tournament there are plenty of activities for kids like mini-tennis and autograph signing sessions.
Third and final day of the first round today.
- Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal cruise into second round.
- Andy Roddick survives five set scare: the 6th seed came within two points of defeat against Jarko Nieminen, but he
prevailed after a intense battle 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3. It was Roddick’s first match on clay this season.
- Upset of the day: Kimiko Date Krumm defeats Dinara Safina 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
What an embarrassing defeat for two time finalist Dinara Safina who lost to 39 years old Kimiko Date Krumm.
Safina lead by one set and 2 breaks, and then 4-1 in the third set, but she self imploded and offered the match to the japanese veteran. It was Date’s first Grand Slam victory since the 1996 US Open.
Other seeds upsets: Sam Querrey (18), Juan Monaco(26)
- Stat of the day: 7
After 7 first round exits Frenchman Nicolas Mahut finally won a match at Roland Garros. He defeated Mischa Zverev in 3 straight sets.
- Quote of the day: Rafael Nadal