Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga move on to the quarterfinals.
Only “surprises” today: Svetlana Kuznetsova defeats Caroline Wozniacki and Jérémy Chardy wins over Andreas Seppi.
Day 9 matches:
Li Na-Agnieszka Radwanska
Ekaterina Makarova-Maria Sharapova
David Ferrer-Nicolas Almagro
Novak Djokovic-Tomas Berdych
Earlier this year I wrote an article about the pace of indoor surfaces and the demise of indoor carpet on the ATP and WTA tours. (see article here) Quick indoor carpet has been completely phased out in favour of medium paced indoor hardcourts based on the plexicushion surface. The slowing down in surfaces has led to a convergence in style of play and allowed defensive minded players to get to the very top of the game and stay there.
Recently Roger Federer called for surfaces to speeded up once again “It’s an easy fix. Just make quicker courts, then it’s hard to defend,” Federer said. “Attacking style is more important. It’s only on this type of slow courts that you can defend the way we are all doing right now.”
When I spoke to the ATP spokesman back in February, he clearly gave the view the surfaces were slowed down and carpet phased out because there were too many complaints that the big serve was dominating tennis. That is a pity because my article clearly dispelled the myth that faster surfaces were only dominated by big servers, I pointed out that many baseliners loved the quicker surfaces.
Players like Ivan Lendl won over 30 tournaments on indoor carpet, much more tournaments on one surface than most players win in an entire career. Lendl won 5 year end Masters titles (ATP World Tour) and played in 8 straight finals between 1982 and 1989. Also Lendl won these titles against the likes of John McEnroe, Boris Becker, and Stefan Edberg.
Monica Seles was another player who excelled on indoor carpet, and yet both she and Lendl won multiple titles at the French Open, the slowest surface on tour. Martina Hingis also excelled on indoor carpet. In the mens game, Andre Agassi, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt and Alex Corretja won the year end championships indoors whilst Jim Courier played in finals in 1991 and 1992 and Michael Chang in 1995.
After watching Haas, Malisse and co at practice, it was time for me to watch some matches!
For the record, Lepchenko won in 3 disputed sets.
NB: this is a recap of MY day at Roland Garros, so if you are looking for the complete scores and results, go to the official Roland Garros website, you won’t find it in my recap.
As usual, before going to a tournament, I have a look at the schedule to try to plan the matches I want to watch.
My intention was to watch Lleyton Hewitt on Court 7 for perhaps his last match at Roland Garros, but I didn’t manage to get there early enough, so no Hewitt for me, Court 7 was already full.
So, change of plan, direction court 9, where Philip Kohlschreiber and Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo are practising.
Later in the afternoon Kohlscheiber would win over Matthew Ebden and Ramirez would lose against Milos Raonic.
Best of February 2012:
She is not a one-hit wonder after all: 2011 US Open semifinalist Angelique Kerber beat Lucie Safarova, Monica Niculescu, Maria Sharapova, Yanina Wickmayer and Marion Bartoli en route for her first WTA title.
19 yr old Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino won her maiden WTA title in Bogota, playing in just her third WTA main draw and facing a 5-2 third set deficit in her opening match.
David Ferrer keeps flying under the radar and he keeps winning: after Auckland in January, he captured 2 titles in February: Acapulco and Sao Paulo.
Lleyton Hewitt recorded its 38th Davis Cup singles victory, a remarkable 14 more than by any other Australian player.
I love every time I put the gold jacket on and playing for my country whoever it’s against and my preparation is exactly the same
Manuel Orantes has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the master player category. Orantes won the 1975 US Open by beating Jimmy Connors in the final, and he was the runner-up to Bjorn Borg at the 1974 French Open.
Like father, like daughter: Jessica Korda, daughter of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda, won her first LPGA tournament this month. The place of her triumph: Australia of course.
A nice tribute to her father’s infamous “scissor kick”.
February tournament winners: Angelique Kerber (Paris), Daniela Hantuchova (Pattaya), Victoria Azarenka (Doha), Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino (Bogota), Sofia Arvidsson (Memphis), Agnieszka Radwanska (Doha), Timea Babos (Monterrey), Sara Errani (Acapulco), Su-Wei Hsieh (Kuala Lumpur), Roger Federer (Rotterdam and Dubai), Nicolas Almagro (Sao Paulo), Milos Raonic (San Jose), Juan Martin Del Potro (Open 13 Marseille), Jurgen Melzer (Memphis), David Ferrer (Buenos Aires and Acapulco), Kevin Anderson (Delray Beach)
Worst of February 2012:
The Arantxa Sanchez Saga: the Sanchez clan seemed to be a much more normal family than the Grafs and Seles’ … until Arantxa’s autobiography release.
Lleyton Hewitt will be sidelined for four months after having surgery on his left foot, but eyes a return in tile for the Olympics. Ranked 170th, the 31 yr old Australian, will have to rely on a wild card from the International Tennis Federation to contest the London Olympics.
Aravane Rezai, for her Fed Cup debacle.
The Swiss Davis Cup team of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka: 0-5 loss against the US team on clay. Enough said.