Andy Roddick, David Ferrer and Ivan Ljubicic were upset victims amidst wet, overcast and heavy conditions on Saturday at the French Open.
Roddick was a temperamental mess is the heavy conditions against Russian qualifier Temiuraz Gabashvili, ranked outside the Top 100. The No. 9-seeded Ferrer was shocked in straight sets by No. 22 seed Jurgen Melzer, while the No. 14-seeded Ljubicic likewise lost in straights to No. 24 seed Thomasz Bellucci.
“I fought through a couple of matches that were a little dicey,” Roddick said of his effort in the tournament, coming in with little preparation due to illness. “Today I got outplayed from the first ball. It was a tough match-up for me in these conditions. He has pretty big swings and gets good length on the ball. I’m a little shorter and wasn’t able to penetrate the court quite as well. He was getting in control of the rallies most of the day.”
Roddick’s departure left Robby Ginepri, who last month was struggling on the challenger circuit, the last American standing after he outlasted former French Open champ Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4 in the fifth set.
“I was prepared to endure the pain and stay out there all day to do what I needed to win the match,” Ginepri said. “We had rallies of 20, 30 strokes early on, but he still came back at me and got an early break in the fifth. It wasn’t great conditions out there today. It rained a bit and got heavy but I fought hard throughout the whole match, so I am just happy to be in the fourth round.”
No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal led the seeded players with a straight-set dismissal of former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. Other seeded winners were (3) Novak Djokovic over (31) Victor Hanescu in four, (7) Fernando Verdasco outlasting (30) Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 in the fifth, (11) Mikhail Youzhny coming from a set down to defeat Viktor Troicki in four, and (19) Nicolas Almagro seeing off Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr. in straights.
“When I walked on the court, I looked at the sky, and I kept looking at the sky because I really wanted to wrap up this match. I did not want to continue playing this particular match tomorrow,” Nadal said. “I really want to have tomorrow off to take a break, and also to work. In the first set I believe I played well, then I believe I had a bit of a dip. The second wasn’t so good, but the third one, until 6-3, I played well, really well.”
The top-seeded Bryan brothers were also losers on Saturday, falling 6-3, 7-6(6) to the Brazilian squad of Melo/Soares.
Sunday’s matches on the men’s side at Roland Garros are (1) Roger Federer vs. (20) Stanislas Wawrinka in an all-Swiss, (11) Mikhail Youzhny vs. (8) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, (10) Marin Cilic vs. (5) Robin Soderling, and (4) Andy Murray vs. (15) Tomas Berdych.
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