Federer Passes Wet Test, Roddick Strong at French Open
by Staff | May 28th, 2009, 9:07 pm
  • 22 Comments

At one-set all and down two breaks in the third, world No. 2 and three-time defending runner-up Roger Federer kicked it into a higher gear on Thursday at the French Open, defeating Argentine Jose Acasuso 7-6(8), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2 to move into the third round.


“It was sort of a fun match to be part of with so many ups and downs,” Federer told reporters. “I’m not part of such close matches that often. So when they happen, it’s great to put in the fight when you can. Definitely it was a sign of mental strength and the physical abilities I have.”

The cool conditions favored Acasuso, slowing things down for the Swiss and hampering his attacking game.

“Conditions were very slow, extremely slow,” Federer told reporters. “It was even raining in the beginning. So of course that takes away game plans because you can’t just attack the net blindly and try to bluff your way through a match like this.”

Federer will next face Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, the No. 32 seed who advanced on Thursday with a straight-set win over Pabl Andujar.

No. 6 Andy Roddick was a straight-set winner, subduing Ivo Minar in straights. Roddick is the lone American advancing into the third round at Roland Garros.

Other Top 10-seeded winners were (5) Juan Martin Del Potro over Viktor Troicki, (9) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beating Juan Monaco in four, and (10) Nikolay Davydenko coming from a set down to defeat Diego Junqueira.

“Sometimes you win so easily that it’s perhaps a bit dangerous,” del Potro told reporters. “When things are more complicated, it’s sometimes better, because sometimes when you think it’s going to be easy and then things get more complicated, it’s good. You can overcome the objects. This is what I did. I suffered sometimes quite a lot.”

No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic led Sergiy Stakhovsky two sets to love when the match was suspended for the day.

Other seeded winners were (11) Gael Monfils, (16) Tommy Robredo, (24) Jurgen Melzer, and (25) Igor Andreev.

No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber and Juan Carlos Ferrero were at two sets all when play was suspended.

Highlights Friday at the French are (12) Fernando Gonzalez vs. the Safin-killer Josselin Ouanna of France, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, (4) Novak Djokovic vs. the Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, (3) Andy Murray vs. Serb Janko Tipsarevic, (31) Nicolas Almagro vs. (8) Fernando Verdasco in an all-Spanish, (23) Robin Soderling vs. (14) David Ferrer, (18) Radek Stepanek vs. (13) Marin Cilic, (10) Nikolay Davydenko vs. (17) Stanislas Wawrinka, and (29) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero to finish.


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22 Comments for Federer Passes Wet Test, Roddick Strong at French Open

jane Says:

Davydenko and Wawrinka could be an excellent match, and Tipsy may provide a little trouble for Murray; they are two all H2H, and although Murray won their match on hard in St. Petersburg last fall, it was tight. And I haven’t even mentioned Rafa vs. Hewitt: Rafa may lose a set; on the other hand, he may dominate. But I think Hewitt has pushed Rafa here before, so.


TD (Tam) Says:

oh boy! Federer is so in love with himself isnt he? it is rather embarrassing to listen to him at times. I’ll never understand why people believe Roddick is the arrogant one when he has never said anything nearly as obnoxious and self congratulating as Federer does on a regular basis. I cant wait til Nadal puts him back in his place.

As for the clay phobic american Andy, hurrah_ He proves his haters wrong again. good luck to him in the next round!


zola Says:

TD(Tam)
congratulations for Roddick’s win today. I think it is the first time he reaches the third round in RG since 2001. He seems very determined to get to the second week.
I was hoping Querrey and Fish play a bit better.


zola Says:

Jane,
Hewitt is always a tough match for Rafa. I hope it is dry and hot tomorrow!

Murray is playing last on Lenglen. So far Rafa, Djoko and now Murray have played last on Lenglen. I think next will be Fed’s turn.


TD (Tam) Says:

good evening zola! who are your favourite players again? (I dont read these boards as often as I would like to!)


jules Says:

I want to see Djokovic play against Nadal again, the last two match of them were really entertaining!


Kimo Says:

Federer said it right: conditions very slow.


TD (Tam) Says:

Hi jules, I completely agree!


zola Says:

good evening TD(Tam),
I mainly support Rafa. But I like to watch others too. Murray, Djoko, Roddick, Fed, MONFILS! , Gulbis, Verdasco,…
(Maybe I should move Monfils a bit higher. )
The French wild card who beat Safin (Onnua?)was playing great tennis too.

Jules,
Djoko has come a long way on clay. His matches this year with Rafa have been excellent. Moya told Djoko that the semi in Madrid was the best 3-set match he saw and I completely agree.

To me an equally interesting match will be Djoko-federer semi ( if that happens). Because Djoko is more confident on clay this year.


jules Says:

>> Zola: To me an equally interesting match will be Djoko-federer semi ( if that happens). Because Djoko is more confident on clay this year.

Maybe, but there’s kind of some tension between these two that brought out a little bad sides from both of them. Some might like it but I felt it distract a bit from enjoying the matches.

I guess Fed and Djoko don’t like each other much. :-)


Giner Says:

Clay is not Hewitt’s surface. Although he has played well on it before, including against Rafa, he is no longer as good as he used to be, due to injuries and age taking away his edge.

Rafa doesn’t have anything to worry about. I don’t think Hewitt will take a set.


grendel Says:

A couple of considerations arise following the Federer/Acasuso match. A clown summarising the day’s play for Eurosport – his name escapes me – showed a clip of Federer drive volleying with some care, thereby eliciting a fairly simple put away. Solid tennis, one might have thought. This commentator chap’s viewing of the situation was doubly strange. On the basis of this rally, he opined that Federer was unable to put away smashes first time. Anyone who has watched Federer consistently over the last 18 months or so will be aware that his drive volleying has been generally abysmal, and his overhead smashing mediocre at best. But in the clip under review, Federer’s drive volley was cautious – but not too cautious; it did precisely the job that was required of it. Furthermore Federer’s smashing, throughout the match, was excellent; personally, I purred with satisfaction, since I was beginning to think he no longer had that weapon in his armoury. The fact that his forehand was again worryingly wayward on occasion is not the point; we are discussing his smashing. This commentator, b.t.w.,knows and loves tennis just like any other enthusiast: how, then, can he make such a sloppy error? Perhaps he was after generating a quick and glib headline? Mere truth is a distraction – not a healthy situation.

To me, for about a set and a half, Acasuso played claycourt tennis about as well and excitingly as it can be played – bearing in mind, of course, that there are many ways of doing something supremely well. He just – entirely predictably – couldn’t keep it up. So here is a player ranked somewhere in the midforties ,whose name in twenty years or so will be lost in the mists of time, who for a while can perform with the grandeur of any of the greats, and given that with him you have power matching skill, more breathtakingly than most.

People generally say, what a pity someone like Acasuso can’t get his mental act together – look where he might be. I say, Acasuso wouldn’t be the engaging performer he is were he able so to do. He appeals to the aesthete in oneself. You can glory in what he does, knowing it won’t last. When you feel in the mood for something sterner, you know that’s coming…..


ThyGodisTennis Says:

Grendel you are dead on!

Nicely done. I think all top 60 men on tour have the capability to deliver a great set or even two but can they win the elusive 3 out of 5 at Grand Slams. Rarely.


grendel Says:

Watching Almagro flailing away against Verdasco was a frustrating experience. Here’s a man with all the shots, in particular a backhand up with Gasquet’s, a serve up with anyone’s except Roddick, and who just throws it away with shots which are barely this side of sanity. For anyone who waded through my previous post, this may seem a contradictory point to make. But I think Acasuso’s capitulation is a matter of temperament , not something you can change, really, though doubtless you can tinker at the edges. But is this not also the case with Almagro? Yes and no, imo. I feel Almagro’s natural abilities could, in the right environment and with appropriate support, be harnessed, and then we would see a formidable player indeed, not just a “dangerous” one.This is the epithet which seems to be most commonly attached to him and which, paradoxically, signals that when real danger beckons, Almagro is still playing toy soldiers. Mind you, the way Verdasco was, at the death, reverting to the old Verdasco, we might have had a rich comedy on our hands….Change is hard, and Verdasco has done wonders, but……..


jane Says:

Rafa’s killing Hewitt’s second serves; when Hewitt gets a first one in, at least he’s in with a puncher’s chance, but Nadal is all over the others. Rafa’s playing carefully, very few errors, but mixing it up too, using backhand slices -a lot- hitting deep on the forehand side and retrieving well as usual. Hewitt, meanwhile, has hit many UEs.

grendel – MMT has also rued the unharnessed potential of Almagro on these boards.


jane Says:

Admittedly I thought you were talking about Andy Murray there, but it turns out he’s never played Fed on clay; I just checked. In fact all 8 of their matches have been on hardcourt. Anyhow, I still think “never say never” is a good adage. Roddick has to get through a couple more rounds anyhow, and so does Federer.


jane Says:

Oh crap my brain is dead – the above post was meant for andrea who posted on the “Nadal on track” thread; anyhow I won’t be bothered to move it.


jane Says:

The draw opened up a little for Nadal. Soderling is through instead of Ferrer. Of course Verdasco and Murray still linger before the final, but it’s not unreasonable to think it might be Davydenko and Gonzalez instead. Meanwhile, on the other side no one really expected Tsonga to do much at the French, given his results on clay so far (and his injury) but he’ll be in the quarters for sure and then who knows? Can he beat JMDP even though the latter has the winning H2H? One would think so with the partisan crowd raucously cheering him on. People are assuming it’ll be Fed and Djoko in the other semi but it may not be.


Kimmi Says:

Spot on Jane. Tsonga does very well with the help from the crowd. I remember the energy he had in indoor paris to win his 1st MS title. He is really the dark horse here.


Giner Says:

jane: “One would think so with the partisan crowd raucously cheering him on.”

I would think it’s a doubled edged sword. Having the home crowd on your side increases the expectations on you to perform, therefore putting more pressure on you. The other guy doesn’t have the expectations of 15,000 people to worry about.

There are at least a good handful of top 100 players that would benefit from matches not being televised and played in an empty stadium. The French are among them.


jane Says:

Giner, you may be right, but as far as I can tell, Tsonga relishes the attention and plays better with it. He encourages the crowd to cheer more when he feels they’re not loud enough by throwing up his arms and gesturing at them to get involved.

As far as I can tell this has helped him play even better when he’s playing well; however, if he has an off day, I am not sure they’d be able to pull him out of it, as he can brood as much as he can shine. He really is mercurial.


Angela Wyatt Dean Says:

Would love to see Roddick keep it going. He’s awesome. Andy’s fans should also check out http://www.greatfriendsgreetings.com. Very cool, original.

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Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
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