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)

– Frenchman of the day: Gianni Mina
The young Frenchman offered some resistance to Rafael Nadal but was overpowered 2-6, 2-6, 2-6.

Gianni Mina

– 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

“I think I played bad, but I won anyway, without problems, so that’s always important and positive thing. But I can do a lot better next round.”

Meet Gianni Mina

Runner up at last year’s French Open juniors, Gianni Mina could be mistaken for Gael Monfils’ younger brother.

Gianni Mina:

Gianni Mina

Gael Monfils:

Gael Monfils

But their looks are not the only thing that they have in common: they have similar playing style and were both very successful in juniors.
In 2004, Monfils finished the year as the world’s number 1 junior, winning three of four junior Grand Slam events (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon). Mina reached the finals in Roland Garros, and the semifinals at the US Open in 2009, and won the 18 years old category of the Orange Bowl.

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24 hours of Rafa Nadal

In recognition of Rafa’s 24th birthday on June 3rd, Tennis Buzz will feature ’24 Hours of Rafa’ – a full day of Rafa articles, photos and videos.
Please send us your stories, photos and videos.
Thanks!

Rafael Nadal

Thanks to Warwick, former coach of Marcos Baghdatis and Amélie Mauresmo, who answered our questions. Please note this interview happened three weeks ago (before Kim Clijsters’ withdrawal). If you want to know more about Warwick, please visit our About page.

Q: Let’s talk first about world number one Serena Williams: although she won the French once, her game is not really suited for clay.
Warwick: You never can under estimate Serena. Winning the Australian Open against an in form Henin showed she still has what it takes to fight for a Grand Slam title. However, after coming off a knee injury she acquired in January, the next few matches will determine her survival at the French.

Q: How good are her chances to win in Paris?
A: If she gets a lot of matches in Rome and is physically feeling good, she should at least make the final.

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May 2009:

Nadal's shadow

From 2005 to the start of Roland Garros 2009, Rafael Nadal won 150 matches for only 5 losses on clay. He has never lost a match at Roland Garros where he’s playing for a fifth consecutive title, which has never been done before.

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From Nadal‘s shocking defeat against Soderling to Safina‘s collapse in final, FO 09 was full of surprises and upsets. Here’s a quick recap of last year’s Roland Garros in 9 photos.

Rafael Nadal:

Rafael Nadal - French Open 2009

“Defeats never make you grow, but you also realise how difficult what I achieved up until today was, and this is something you need sometimes. You need a defeat to give the value to your victories.”

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