Federer, Djokovic Reach French Open Sweet 16; Nadal, Murray Look to Book Their Spots Saturday
In wasn’t a perfect performance but Roger Federer is back into a French Open fourth round for the 10th timeafter taking out Nicolas Mahut 6-3 ,4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
“I thought he did well. Struggled a little bit, but overall obviously I’m happy I came through,” Federer said.
After wins over Tobias Kamke, Adrian Ungur and Mahut, Federer’s cushy draw continues on Sunday against lucky loser David Goffin. The 21-year-old Goffin, a straight set winner over Lukasz Kubot, is making his Grand Slam debut, and Federer’s just happens to be his idol.
“I’ve been watching Roger playing on telly for so many years,” said Goffin. “Roger has always been my favourite. He has perfect tennis, perfect technique, and I like the man. From a human standpoint, he is a great person, whether on the court or outside the court. So I expect a very difficult match on Sunday. I don’t know exactly how I should prepare for this match, but I’ll try and have fun.”
In a late start with the light fading, Novak Djokovic ripped Nicolas Devilder 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to keep his “Djoker Slam” hopes alive.
“Last 15 minutes was very hard, but it was very important for me to finish the match today,” admitted Djokovic. “I wouldn’t like to come back tomorrow and play a few games.”
Djokovic now meets Andreas Seppi, a five set winner over Fernando Verdasco.
Also, Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych were both winners setting up a monster fourth round clash. Berdych needed five sets to beat big-serving Kevin Anderson. Another five set winner was Stanislas Wawrinka who upended Gilles Simon in four hours, 29 minutes. The Swiss will face another Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in the 16s.
In the women’s draw, former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova upset Agnieszka Radwanska crushing the No. 3 seed 6-1, 6-2.
“She was doing everything right today and I really couldn’t do anything,” Radwanska said. “After a couple of minutes I was 5-0 down. She was playing very aggressive from both sides, and she had an answer for everything I was trying to do. I don’t think I played badly, but she was just playing unbelievable.
“I didn’t expect that good tennis. She was just too good.”
Another past champion wasn’t as fortunate as Sara Errani upended Ana Ivanovic. Top ranked Victoria Azarenka cruised along with 2010 finalist Sam Stosur. American teen Sloane Stephens continued her Cinderella run pounding Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson.
“My goal coming into the French Open was just play hard,” the 19-year-old Stephens said. “There’s nothing else you can do – play hard, fight hard, run every ball down. Winning or losing, it didn’t matter, because I started playing well and getting my confidence back and I was happy with what I was doing.
“I always feel really comfortable here at Roland Garros. I really like it here. I was like, ‘I know if I just do the right things, the good things will happen.’”
In a weak second quarter, one of Kuznetsova, Errani, Kerber or Martic will reach the semifinals.
Tomorrow, clay king Rafael Nadal returns along with David Ferrer, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, defending champion Li Na and Andy Murray who’ll test his bad back against Santiago Giraldo. Milos Raonic meets Argentine Juan Monaco in what should be one of the better matches.
Sharapova won today over Ayumi Morita in a rain-postponed match.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Novak Djokovic has won 24 straight matches in Grand Slam play… David Goffin is the first “lucky loser” to reach a Grand Slam 4th RD since countryman Dick Norman at 1995 Wimbledon… 21-year-old Goffin is the youngest player left in the men’s draw… The last player to win the Australian Open and the French Open in the same year was Jim Courier in 1992… Roger Federer was 30 years 296 days old when he won his 234th match in his 52nd Grand Slam event. Jimmy Connors won his 233rd match on his 40th birthday in his 58th major… Nicolas Mahut has played 28 Grand Slams without reaching a 4th RD… Serena Williams is also out of the mixed doubles. She and Bob Bryan lost today in the first round… Tomas Berdych has 349 career wins… Juan Martin Del Potro is 10-0 in sets against Marin Cilic on clay… Stanislas Wawrinka has 235 career wins, his countryman Roger Federer has 235 Grand Slam wins… Andreas Seppi had never beaten Fernando Verdasco in six prior tries until Friday… No Canadian man has ever reached the 4th RD at the French Open singles… Rafael Nadal turns 26 Sunday… Rafael Nadal is 17-0 against qualifiers in Grand Slam play… Tommy Haas is one of 7 fathers to reach the 3rd RD… Peng Shuai is one of two Top 30 players without a title (Cetkovska)… Li Na has won 9 straight matches at the French Open… Roger Federer is a single man after news he has severed ties, for now, from IMG and agent Tony Godsick… Andreas Seppi leads all remaining men with 33 aces… Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are tied with the fastest serve at 141mph… The Simon-Wawrinka match today produced the longest rally of the tournament thus far, 40 strokes. Wawrinka won the point… Milos Raonic has only lost 11 first serve points… Weather forecasts indicate rain returning to Roland Garros for the early part of next week.
Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start Time
1. Women’s Singles – 3rd Round
Nina Bratchikova (RUS) v. Petra Kvitova (CZE)
2. Men’s Singles – 3rd Round
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) v. Julien Benneteau (FRA)
3. Women’s Singles – 3rd Round
Shuai Peng (CHN) v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)
4. Men’s Singles – 3rd Round
Eduardo Schwank (ARG) v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00 AM Start Time
1. Men’s Singles – 3rd Round
David Ferrer (ESP) v. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)
2. Women’s Singles – 3rd Round
Na Li (CHN) v. Christina McHale (USA)
3. Men’s Singles – 3rd Round
Tommy Haas (GER) v. Richard Gasquet (FRA)
4. Women’s Singles – 3rd Round
Kaia Kanepi (EST) v. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
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